How local faith leaders are addressing COVID-19 vaccine with community

Here’s how local faith leaders are addressing COVID-19 vaccine with community

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Church service during a pandemic often means empty pews and crowded computer screens.

“I do not want it on my conscience to have a worship experience here become a superspreader event,” said Dr. Robert Scott, pastor of St. Paul Baptist.

Medical experts say the key to things returning to normal is the vaccine, but surveys show that a lot of African Americans are leery about taking it.

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Experts say the Black church has a major role in helping the African American community overcome the idea that vaccines aren’t safe.

“I do think there is an opportunity for the church to provide information to the membership,” Thomas Farrow, pastor of Reeder Memorial said. “I think there is an opportunity to do some myth-busting.”

While Farrow says he’s convinced the church should play a role, he’s not sure he should lead the way.

“I don’t know that I want to go champion the cause of vaccination because people have valid concerns about the vaccine and concerns that I can’t speak to intelligently. Again, personally, I’ll do it but can’t discount or disregard the experience of the person who says, ‘Hey look this is something they just whipped up.’”

Farrow told Channel 9 that when he does get the vaccine he plans to record it and post it on social media.

Scott said he feels he needs to lead. Last year, he buried 23 church members who died from COVID-19.

“I want persons to research it for themselves, look at me as an example and if you feel go ahead and take the shot,” he said.

Both churches have been worshiping virtually and both pastors said from time to time the members press to go back in person.

“The songwriter said it best: When we all get together what a day of rejoicing that will be,” Farrow said.

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