Some white evangelicals immune to good sense about vaccination


Bob Enyart, anti-vax Christian, lied about COVID, died of COVID

White evangelical Christians have resisted getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at higher rates than other religious groups in the United States. A new study by Yale researchers provides evidence that persuading these vaccine holdouts to get their shots has only gotten more difficult.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, combines two survey experiments testing the effectiveness of various persuasive messages in shifting white evangelicals’ attitudes about vaccination. The first survey was conducted in October 2020, while Donald Trump was president and before the COVID-19 vaccines were approved for use in the United States, and the second occurred in May 2021, several months after people started getting jabs.

The initial survey, fielded on a nationally representative sample of 855 white evangelicals, gauged how various messages affected white evangelicals’ intentions to get vaccinated, their willingness to advise a friend to get the shots, and their judgments of people who refuse the vaccine…However, the same message(s) proved ineffective in the second survey, which was performed on a nationally representative sample of 2,419 unvaccinated white evangelicals.

Neither survey showed that values-based messaging was successful at persuading white evangelicals to get vaccinated, contrasting with prior research that has found that values-consistent messaging increased positive attitudes towards masking among members of the same group.

RTFA. Sad, but, true! An in-depth article is published this coming weekend in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.