FAYETVILLE, Arkansas (KNWA/KFTA) — A report by UAMS researchers found that citizens of some minority and underserved communities were more open to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in their church than in healthcare facilities.
A recent study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care compared the acceptance of vaccines by different populations in both outpatient clinics and faith-based organizations. According to this study, both Hispanics and residents of Marshall in Arkansas were more likely to get vaccinated at religious organizations than at outpatient clinics.
“These results show that collaboration between healthcare providers and faith-based institutions can increase vaccination rates among communities that might otherwise falter,” said Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., director of the UAMS Office of Public Health and Research. “This information can help guide public health efforts to help these communities better protect themselves from a variety of diseases, including COVID-19 and the flu.”
The study also found that participants who received their vaccines from a faith-based organization were also more likely to trust the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine while having lower levels of health literacy than participants in outpatient clinics.
More than a million people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. More than 12,800 Arkansans have died from the virus, according to the Arkansas Department of Health, which also reported that 71.4% of Arkansans who have died from COVID-19 since February 2021 have not been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved bivalent booster shots for Pfizer and Moderna that target new variants of the Omicron coronavirus. The Pfizer booster is legal for children ages five and older, while the Moderna booster is legal for children ages six and older.