(NEXSTAR) — About 30% of Evangelical Christians say they will “definitely not” get the vaccine, according to research released in March.
Per the KFF COVID Vaccine Monitor, Evangelicals and Republicans were the two groups that were least likely to say they would get the vaccine.
The survey results come a few months after another poll found that 95% of Evangelical leaders would get the vaccine and 89% would encourage others to do the same.
“On a practical level, I travel internationally, so it will most likely be required for me to get the vaccine,” Greg Williams, president of Grace Communion International, told the National Association of Evangelicals. “But in the same way that we encourage people to wear masks and social distance, we will speak to the vaccination issue as a means for self-care as well as being mindful of others. COVID-19 has demonstrated that we are a global community and as Christians, we must hear the call to be our neighbor’s keeper.”
The available vaccines are proven to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, which has killed nearly 3 million people worldwide.
It’s not entirely clear what’s driving the vaccine hesitancy among Evangelicals, though research has shown that the group is more susceptible to conspiracy theories than others.
The other group that’s most hesitant to receive the COVID vaccine is Republicans.
In a survey released this week, almost half of Republicans said they will not get the vaccine.
The survey, conducted by Monmouth University Polling, arrives after about half of Americans have received the first shot of the vaccine.
In total, about 1 in 5 of those surveyed said they would be unwilling to get the vaccine if they can avoid it. That number is down about 4% from January and February.
“The number of people who have been skittish about the vaccine has dropped as more Americans line up for the shot, but the hardcore group who want to avoid it at all costs has barely budged,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, in a statement.
“The recent news about J&J vaccines is probably not going to help that situation. On the other hand, it might not make it all that much worse since much of this reluctance is really ingrained in partisan identity.”
The FDA and CDC recommended pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine after a very small group of people developed blood clots following the shot.