Nearly 60 percent of white evangelicals say they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new survey that indicates support for the vaccine is increasing among a once-hesitant demographic.
The August poll by NBC News shows that 59 percent of white evangelicals say they already have received the vaccine – a record number compared to other polls that also surveyed evangelicals’ attitudes on the issue.
A poll conducted in June by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and the Interfaith Youth Core showed that 56 percent of white evangelicals either had received the vaccine or planned on getting it. In March, 45 percent of white evangelicals in a PRRI poll answered that way. (Neither NBC News nor Public Religion Research Institute released data on the attitudes of non-white evangelicals.)
Together, the polls suggest that white evangelicals are gradually embracing the vaccine as the Delta variant spreads across the United States – even though white evangelical support for the vaccine still trails all Americans. In the NBC News survey, 69 percent of U.S. adults said they had been vaccinated.
The Delta variant has been particularly deadly among the unvaccinated.
In Louisiana, 91 percent of all COVID hospitalizations and 80 percent of all COVID deaths are among those not fully vaccinated. The data is similar in neighboring Mississippi, where 89 percent of COVID hospitalizations and 86 percent of COVID deaths are among citizens not fully vaccinated.
As of Aug. 25, 73.2 percent of adults in the U.S. have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than 200 million Americans 12 and older have had at least one dose. More than 171 million Americans are fully vaccinated.
Among Americans 65 and older, 91.5 percent have received at least one dose, and 81.2 percent are fully vaccinated.
The NBC News survey was conducted Aug. 14-17 among 1,000 adults.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sittithat Tangwitthayaphum
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.