Religious faith and worship are an essential part of life for millions of Americans. A growing number of faith-based groups are recognizing the important role they can play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and increasing the number of Americans receiving vaccines.
By guiding and educating members, faith leaders can ensure congregations stay safe and healthy and feel confident and informed in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. These efforts also move our communities closer to the return of in-person religious gatherings that play an integral role in our lives and, for many, define our faith.
UNC Health is here to provide the information you need to have these important conversations.
Here are five tips for faith-based organizations. Find resources linked below.
1. Provide Access to Trusted, Accurate Information
There is a lot of vaccine misinformation out there. Sharing credible vaccine information on your social media platforms and communication channels can help combat vaccine myths and ensure your group has accurate information.
2. Adapt to Your Community
You know your members best. Adjust messaging, materials and communication styles to work best with your community.
3. Foster Authentic Conversations
While researchers, elected officials and healthcare experts have worked hard to ensure people feel informed and confident about the vaccines, sometimes conversations that happen directly within communities are the most effective.
4. Encourage Leaders to Lead
Faith-based leaders can play an essential role by sharing their own vaccine experiences with other congregants.
5. Connect with Health Organizations
Community health centers and healthcare organizations are seeking faith-based groups to assist in their vaccine outreach efforts. You may be able to host a vaccination event or receive resources specific to your community.