Clergy asked to help spread urgent message in Pierce County
We’ve all heard concerns from people about the COVID-19 vaccines. Some question the safety and development. Others worry about side-effects or just don’t trust the medical system or the government.
That’s why Tacoma’s Mayor and Pierce County’s Executive are asking clergy to leverage their influence and trust with their congregations to help spread a simple message: the vaccine is safe.
They are asking YOU to help overcome barriers by sharing accurate information, and by steering your congregants to providers they feel comfortable with or to clinics that are within your community and sensitive to their cultural needs.
“That’s what communities can do, and communities of faith do best,” said Shauna Weatherby, a nurse practitioner at MultiCare who has worked in public health in Pierce County for 40 years. “Motivate and build a bridge. Make it easier for people to get vaccinated. Build trust and help each other.” She pointed to a recent popup clinic at Shiloh Baptist Church in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood as a great example of how people within faith communities can support each other.
Unfortunately there are media sources sharing information that is not scientifically based. Elected leaders are asking local clergy to help spread the truth.
- The process to approve and monitor vaccines has been around for years. It’s the same process used to develop vaccines for the measles, mumps, whooping cough, and the seasonal flu.
- In clinical trials all three of the available vaccines proved to be extremely effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19 and limiting the severity of the illness, hospitalization and death.
- Cost is not an issue since the COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, whether or not they have insurance.
- Transportation doesn’t have to be an issue since Pierce Transit offers free rides for COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
- To achieve community immunity, scientists estimate that about 7 or 8 of every 10 people will need to be immune. The COVID-19 vaccine is the pathway to help our community achieve immunity, and everyone 16 and older in Pierce County becomes eligible on April 15 to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.
That’s why it is so important to share this message however and wherever you can: everyone should get vaccinated. It’s the pathway to real and practical hope to end the pandemic. And it is your congregation’s pathway to more mask-free opportunities in the future—getting back to what you love: worshiping and growing together in person!
Encourage your community to stay on the path back to normal life.
People of faith can be leaders in not giving up, in modeling a sacrificial commitment to continue doing the things that keep us all safe; and showing that we love our neighbors as ourselves:
- Wear a multi-layer mask that fits snugly over your mouth and nose.
- Practice physical distancing.
- Keep gatherings small.
- Wash your hands often.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
- Get a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Use the state’s Vaccine Locator tool to find healthcare providers and pharmacies with vaccine near you.
Thank you for being a proclaimer of hope and truth during these unprecedented times!