It’s great to see churches help combat vaccine hesitancy.
May 16 is Covid-19 Vaccine Day at First Baptist Church Dallas. Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress announced a partnership with Dallas Country Health and Human Service to help get life-saving shots into arms.
The First Baptist Church Dallas website announced the program to its 14,000 congregants. Dr. Jeffress, using CDC data, “urges Christians who are fearful of COVID-19 to get the vaccine because it is nearly 100% effective and is the best way for churches to fully open.”
After church service on May 16, individuals who preregister through the Dallas Country Health and Human Service Vaccination Scheduler may receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
The church will schedule the required second dose of Moderna vaccine at a second vaccine clinic day on Sunday, June 13, at 12:30 after services are complete. People who have already received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine do not need to register. They may bring their vaccination card to qualify for Moderna dose two.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told the Dallas Morning News “the clinic is one of many efforts the county is using to target groups of people who may be hesitant to get the vaccine. In Deep Ellum, for example, he said the county is partnering with local businesses to target younger bar patrons.
Judge Clay Jenkins hopes bringing the vaccine directly to the church will help Christians overcome vaccine hesitancy.
There are three FDA-approved vaccines for Covid-19. The two messenger RNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer offer 95% protection against Covid-19. The Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna use messenger RNA (mRNA). A single strand of mRNA delivers instructions to human cells to produce an antibody against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
The Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine offers 72% protection against infection and 86% against severe disease. The Janssen vaccine uses Adenovirus 26 (AD26) as the vector to deliver DNA material into our cells to provoke an immune response.
The Moderna and Janssen vaccines are approved for those 18 years old and up. The Pfizer vaccine is approved starting at age 16 and is likely to be approved for children down to age 12 very soon.
All three vaccines are highly effective in preventing death.
First Baptist Church Dallas. Senior Pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress does not require vaccination to attend serves. Still, he encourages congregants to protect themselves as this is the safest way to get worshipers back into the church.
Here is what we know about post-vaccine immunity with the Covid-19 vaccines currently available in the United States: In phase 3 clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine showed a 95% efficacy seven days after the second dose. The Moderna vaccine offers 94% immunity at least 14 days after dose number two. The Janssen vaccine takes effect after 14 days as well.
Two weeks after completing the vaccination course, recipients can rest assured their risk of severe disease from Covid-19 is very low.
First Baptist Church Dallas’s joint effort with Dallas Country Health and Human Service is a proactive step to help evangelicals overcome Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy. According to the Pew Research Center, white evangelical Christians are the least likely group indicating they plan to get vaccinated. Considering there are 41 million people in this category, helping evangelicals get vaccinated will improve the US chances of reaching herd immunity.
The New York Times explained the vaccine resistance as “white evangelicals present unique challenges because of their complex web of moral, medical and political objections. The challenge is further complicated by the longstanding distrust between evangelicals and the scientific community.”
First Baptist Church Dallas’s efforts to help its congregants get vaccinated is an important moment. This church is a national leader in the evangelical community. Last summer, the church received negative press coverage after hosting a Freedom Sunday service attended by Vice President Mike Pence, Governor Greg Abbott, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. The mostly maskless service results in a cluster of five positive Covid-19 cases.
Senior Pastor Robert Jeffress encourages all Christians to get vaccinated. He asks Christians to remember vaccination is an American issue, not a political one.
Blog Author: Dr. Jeff Livingston
Main Blog Photo By: FBC Dallas Typhoonski Istock/Getty Images