According to a recent Pew Research report, 62% of white evangelical protestants have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. While this constitutes a majority of the group, it is still the lowest rate when compared to white Americans who are not evangelical, Catholics, and the religiously unaffiliated.
Among all U.S. adults, 78% have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, including 73% who say they are fully vaccinated (which is defined as having received two Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one Johnson & Johnson). 85% of Catholics, 80% of the religiously unaffiliated, and 77% of white Americans who are not evangelical reported that they have received at least one dose.
Not surprisingly, political party affiliation has also played a key role in whether Americans are vaccinated, with 90% of those who are registered or lean toward the Democratic Party having received at least one dose, as compared to only 64% of those sympathetic with the Republican Party.
Party affiliation becomes less of a factor with older Americans, as 80% of Republicans age 65 or older have received at least one dose. The same goes for education, as 81% of Republicans with a postgraduate degree say that they have received at least one dose, as opposed to only 57% of Republicans with a high school diploma or less.
COVID-19 prevention measures, including masks and vaccines, have been a highly debated topic not only in the country writ large but also within the walls of American churches. Many churches, especially those who do not own their own facilities and must comply with requirements handed down to them as tenants, have required vaccinations to attend unmasked services.
Others have been vocally opposed to any manner of mask or vaccine requirements, even signing religious exemption forms for congregants whose employers require COVID-19 vaccinations. Still, other evangelical leaders see no biblical justification for seeking a religious exemption and argue that COVID-19 vaccinations are an answer to prayer.
Of note in Pew’s findings is that while those who advocate for COVID-19 vaccinations in evangelical spaces often do so at great personal cost and appear to be in the minority, a majority of white evangelicals have nevertheless received at least one dose. However, the cultural and political factors at play within white evangelicalism have still led the group to be the least likely to be fully vaccinated and boosted.