Despite some personal tensions, the vaccine campaign in the United States shows many signs of success. More than 70% of Americans receive at least the first dose. The acceptance rate of the vaccine is increasing among all religious communities, according to a study released by the Public Religious Research Institute on July 28, based on data collected between March 28 and June 2021.
In the United States, many religious leaders – including the American Bishops’ Conference – have urged believers to be vaccinated, so many “vaccine-skeptical” believers are sensitive to the so-called “sectarianism” that promotes the vaccine.
Significant increase for all religious communities
Of the ten Americans who are hesitant about the vaccine and go to worship several times a year, about four (38%) said the argument of a cult representative would convince them to get the vaccine. This number drops to one in five trainees (19%) when it comes to vaccine-to-vaccine availability.
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Among various religious groups, the percentage of believers who have been vaccinated or are considering being vaccinated increased between March and June 2021. The strongest increase in acceptance comes from Catholics of Latin American descent. In March, 56% of them said they were “vaccine dependent”: by June, they were now 80%. White Catholics accepted 68% to 79%.
Traditional white Protestants, other religions and those who claim to be religiously affiliated all rose above the 70% acceptance mark by 11% to 15 points. Black Protestants and the Church of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) make up about 65% of the believers, with a similar percentage increasing by 15%.
Eleven point increase for white evangelists
Protestants and white evangelicals of Latin American descent are among the most resistant to the vaccine, with an acceptance rate of 56% each. The percentage of believers considering vaccination increased by 13 points (43% in March) for Latin Protestants and 11 points (45% in March) for white evangelicals.
Of these, 20% say they have not yet decided whether to vaccinate themselves, and 24% categorically deny it – the highest denial rate in any religious subgroup. However, one-third of unvaccinated evangelicals say a faith-based approach may change their mind.
Another notable figure from this poll is about the followers of the Canaan conspiracy movement. Between March and June, the vaccination acceptance rate in this community increased significantly: in March, only 27% of QAnon supporters announced that they would be vaccinated, and they now stand at 45%.
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