1 in 10 Americans say COVID vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs – NPR

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Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP A majority of Americans, 60%, also say there is no valid religious reason to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine – but the number is changing when it comes to white evangelicals. While a majority of all other major faith groups say their faith does not include a valid reason for refusing the vaccine, only 41% of white evangelicals believe the same.

Only 10% of Americans think getting a COVID-19 vaccine conflicts with their religious beliefs, and 59% of Americans say too many people are using religious beliefs as an excuse not to get the vaccine, new survey finds from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). The results of the survey – the most important for tracking the intersection of the pandemic and religious beliefs – could be crucial in understanding how to encourage more people in the United States to get vaccinated, especially as vaccines become more and more available for children. PRRI CEO and founder Robert Jones said in a statement that the results show that many Americans believe that religious freedom is not “absolute” and that there should be a balance when it comes to community health.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP A pastor received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in May, during a gathering of a group of interfaith clergy, community leaders and officials at the Washington National Cathedral, to encourage religious communities to be vaccinated against COVID.

The question of whether religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine should be allowed has resulted in a more divided range of responses. Only 39% of Americans support a general religious exemption excuse, which means anyone who says the vaccine is against their faith doesn’t have to get it. There is still a divide on religious exemptions from the vaccine

Interestingly, if the question were asked in the context of government making vaccination mandatory, 58% of Americans say people should be allowed to have religious exemptions from the vaccine. Religious leaders prove effective in encouraging vaccinations But 51% of Americans support giving a religious exemption if the person has documentation from a religious leader saying the vaccine goes against their beliefs religious.

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Ruth R. Culp