Black churches address vaccine hesitancy

Helping a community navigate historical concerns

For many, the isolation, grief, and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be nearing an end. Three vaccines have been tested and approved and are now being widely distributed. Vaccine hesitancy, however, remains an issue—and in the African American community in particular. In a November survey by the Pew Research Center, only 42 percent of Black respondents said they were likely to get vaccinated, compared to 60 percent of respondents overall.

Heeding the call to care for their flock, Black churches have been working hard to address the concerns of community members. In February, another Pew survey found that the number of overall respondents who plan to get vaccinated (or already have) went from 60 to 69 percent—and that the number of Black respondents went from 42 percent all the way to 61 percent.

Chicagoan Curtis Jackson was one such person leery of the vaccine. Jackson said he had adopted a wait-and-see attitude about it.