The Washington National Cathedral held a ‘confidence event’ on Tuesday, March 16, where US-based faith, medical and political leaders congregated in a socially distanced safe manner to encourage people of various religions to get COVID-19 vaccinations.

Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, stated that  “This is one great example of a partnership between government and faith-based organizations,” and “And, as President Biden has recognized, faith-based organizations can play key roles in helping Americans get vaccinated.”

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed vaccine misinformation and spoke about its myths. Collins urged churches and other faith institutions to promote vaccine education and have faith leaders get the vaccine. Fauci told participants that we will get through COVID-19 by vaccination.

The Rev. Patricia Hailes Fears, the pastor of Washington’s Fellowship Baptist Church, received her vaccination, followed by applause. Then a couple of dozen Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders received their shots.

Earlier in the day, Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs hosted a webinar with its partners to release a two page “quick analysis guide”. The guide can be used by health and development actors to engage faith actors in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, and by faith actors to know their role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“It’s never too early or too late to start building these relationships, establishing common ground and speaking of mutual interests and concerns and ways to move forward for successful collaboration,” said Olivia Wilkinson, director of research at the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities.

Read the article: Fauci and Collins join interfaith leaders at cathedral vaccine ‘confidence event’ by Adelle M. Banks. Published March 17, 2021