Over the past year, COVID-19 has torn through our communities, forcing us into isolation and disrupting one of the foundations of Black American culture: coming together to worship in the house of the Lord. However, there is hope on the horizon! With the advent of COVID-19 vaccines, a future where we can get back to gathering is within our sights.
The Get Vaccinated! Black Faith Community Toolkit includes information about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine, along with frequently asked questions and sample social media posts to help empower you as clergy to speak confidently to your congregations and communities about the vaccine. Let’s get back to gathering!
Why Should Black People Get the Vaccine?
Benefits of Being Vaccinated
Key Actions Faith Leaders Can Take
Click to download the full GET VACCINATED Toolkit.
WHY SHOULD BLACK PEOPLE GET THE VACCINE?
LONG-TERM HEALTH DISPARITIES AND ISSUES THAT PLAGUE THE BLACK COMMUNITY.
Black people are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity—all of which increase the risk of dying from COVID-19. The vaccine lessens your chance of contracting the coronavirus if you come in contact with an infected person as well as reduces the severity of the disease if you do get it.
OUR CHILDREN NEED TO RETURN TO SCHOOL.
Distance learning has negatively impacted Black school children more than other races, with Black students in some areas regressing in education due to lost classroom time up to 12 months. Due to lack of access to technology such as computers and high-speed internet, Black children are more likely to miss online learning, falling behind their counterparts with long term negative consequences. Even worse, many of our children depend on free or reduced lunch programs, making in-person school attendance even more vital.
THE VACCINE WAS CREATED BY US.
The COVID-19 vaccine was developed, tested, and approved by a group that included Black medical experts and doctors. Clinical trials for all versions of the vaccine included adults of diverse backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and underlying conditions. Having a seat at the table ensured that the unique needs of the Black community were not overlooked.
WE NEED TO RETURN TO LIFE-ENHANCING ACTIVITIES.
Coronavirus has taken away our ability to come together, preventing us from shaking hands with neighbors, worshipping together in the temple, and even denying us the healing power of hugs It is time to get back to gathering!
BECAUSE WE LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER.
Community is the bedrock of Black America. From the plantation to the parish, we have always taken care of our own. Getting the vaccine is the most effective way to keep your family and neighbors safe—protecting yourself also helps protects the people around you, including those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or those who can’t get vaccinated—like infants, children, or people with weakened immune systems due to chronic disease.
IT IS OUR DUTY TO HONOR GOD THROUGH OUR BODIES.
While we think of our bodies as our own, we must remember that they are an extension of God’s love for us, and it is our duty to protect them.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"If you get Moderna or Pfizer's vaccine...you have a 95% less chance of getting COVID-19. So imagine that for you and then imagine that for everyone around you in your community….The entire purpose of vaccines is to reduce the disease burden on a community."
— Dr. Kizzy Corbett, NIH immunologist and COVID-19 vaccine co-creator
STEPS TO BECOME A TRUSTED FAITH-BASED VACCINE SITE
SPECIAL NOTE: Churches may decide to be sites for actually storing and administering the vaccine. However, the best practice most churches are following is to become the trusted location and sacred space where the vaccine is administered by a health institution partner.
IN THE NEWS
African Methodist Episcopal; African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; The Church of God In Christ; Conference of National Black Churches; Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International; National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc; National Baptist Convention of America International, Inc.; Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.; and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.