The White House is partnering with faith communities across the country this weekend to kick off its month of action, encouraging individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of President Biden’s latest campaign to get vaccinated adults eligible against the novel coronavirus by July 4.
The White House Office of Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships works to engage faith communities, developing and sharing resources for faith partners to encourage hesitant people within their congregations to get immunized, a a White House official told Fox News.
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The official said the White House was working with religious communities to open their places of worship as vaccination sites, stressing the importance of those hesitant to find out about COVID-19 vaccinations from religious leaders in whom they have trust.
“Much of this underscores what we are seeing, that local messengers are a big part of the success of the next round of vaccination,” a White House official told Fox News.
“They want to hear from people they know and trust,” the official continued. “When a pastor or a head of a congregation, or a deacon can say, ‘I have been vaccinated,’ it helps a lot in building confidence and breaking down those barriers.”
The official said the White House has seen the engagement of more than 80 faith-based organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, The Salvation Army, CityGate Network, Bread for the World. , Catholic Charities, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Christian Churches Together, and more.
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The official said Rev. Walter Kim, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, has been a “strong public advocate for vaccinations,” having participated in a “We Can Do It: Live” Facebook chat with the Surgeon General. Vivek Murthy to encourage people to get vaccinated.
Officials also reported Southern Baptist Convention President JD Greear, who publicly encouraged vaccinations and posted a photo of him getting the shot on Twitter, and Reverend Franklin Graham, who recently made public statements encouraging evangelicals to get vaccinated and said he would “work with the Biden administration” to get evangelicals vaccinated.
The efforts are part of the Biden administration’s “Action Month”, which is working to mobilize a “Pan American sprint” to get at least one photo of 70% of American adults by July 4. .
The White House said it is also working with Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), which has launched a national interfaith community health worker program that engages religious values, communities and leaders in raising awareness about the Covid-19 vaccine. – the effort is called “Faith in the Vaccin.”
IFYC will train 2,000 students and community leaders from 120 college campuses and over 80 civic institutions to impact faith in vaccine ambassadors, supporting vaccine uptake across the country.
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The White House said the ambassadors “will organize educational events and vaccination sites in their religious communities, in addition to hosting one-on-one conversations, ride-sharing programs, translation services, assistance to appointments for vaccines, etc. “.
The White House is also a partner of Faiths4Vaccines, a multi-faith coalition of 46 faith-based organizations, including the Christian Community Development Association, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, Sojourners, the National Council of Churches, the Union pour le Reform Judaism, the National African American Clergy Network, the Catholic Health Association, the Islamic Medical Association of North America, and more.
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They recruit 600 clergy to talk about the importance of vaccines and the Month of Action at their weekly church service over launch weekend, and recruit 5,000 clergy to dedicate one of their church services in the month of action.
The efforts come after President Biden this week declared June a “national month of action” to the coronavirus pandemic, urging Americans to obtain vaccinated.
Biden pointed out that 52% of adults are now fully vaccinated, including 75% of all seniors.
Biden also stressed once again that getting the shot shouldn’t be a partisan issue, as he mentioned that the vaccines were developed under the previous administration, not to mention former president trump‘The name of.
“The vaccine is free, it’s safe and effective,” Biden said. “Getting the vaccine is not a partisan act. The science was done under the Democratic and Republican administrations. In fact, the first vaccines were licensed under a Republican president and widely deployed by a Democratic president.”
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To reach his goal of 70% – Biden said 63% of adults have already received an injection – he is “launching a month-long effort” to facilitate the vaccination.
The president announced that his administration was launching a nationwide vaccination tour to encourage people to get vaccinated, which Vice President Kamala Harris will lead through the South and Midwest, where immunization rates currently lag behind the rest of the country. Biden said his administration is also setting up “store shots,” which includes partnering with hair salons and beauty salons in the black and brunette communities. There will also be a nationwide canvassing encouraging people to get vaccinated which would be launched this weekend.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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