COVID Vaccines for Black Christians
Aligning our Faith With Action
Vaccines are safe and accessible, but they are also our individual decision to make.
As Black Believers, we have to consider not just whether the vaccine aligns with out Christian convictions, but also the wellbeing of the Black community in America.
COVID-19 vaccines have proven safe for all People of Color. And COVID-19 vaccine studies were the first ever to be racially representative of America. And they were developed by Black scientists like Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett.
Black Americans are significantly more likely to be affected by vaccine-preventable diseases. A simple example: the flu shot. Black adults 65 and over are 10% less likely to receive the vaccination, even though Black seniors are at higher risk for severe flu and even less likely to get the more powerful, higher-dose vaccine.
Black toddlers were 5% less likely to be fully immunized pre-COVID pandemic, and Black adults were less likely to be up-to-date on their vaccinations than their White counterparts, like for tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, and several others. White Americans were also 2.5 times more likely to have been immunized for shingles than Black Americans.
But even as the vaccines are proving safe and effective at decreasing the likelihood of severe sickness, new COVID-19 variants are hitting the unvaccinated Black community hard.
In the Bible, God promises to heal our people. By vaccinating, our Father has given us the opportunity to heal our communities and return to worship. But we have to be willing to take His outstretched hand.
Bless the Lord, my soul, and never forget any of his benefits: He continues to forgive all your sins, he continues to heal all your diseases.
What Black Faith Leaders Are Saying About the Vaccine
Bishop T.D. Jakes
The Potter's House Church
“Go to credible places like blackdoctor.org … talk to your local physician,” said Jakes. He also said that he personally has faith in COVID vaccines. He and other faith leaders said it is important for people to be selfless right now by putting the needs of their loved ones ahead of personal hesitancy.
Dr. Demondes Haynes
Professor of Medicine at UMMC and Member at Word and Worship Church
“There are a lot of fears, a lot of healthy skepticism, about the vaccine the health care system, period. We’re doing this as faith leaders to show our faith, our belief, in science. This vaccine is not something cooked up at the last minute, where you throw everything into a pot and see what comes out, like gumbo. It didn’t start from scratch, and I believe that message needs to get out there more.”
Rev. John K. Jenkins, Sr.
First Baptist Church of Glenarden
“Health is what most of our people are challenged with,” said the Rev. John K. Jenkins, Sr., pastor of the church. “The Bible clearly speaks about taking care of your health and take care of your bodies. We’re fulfilling the biblical mandate . . . to help people live better. This is something that will help save lives.”