Using Faith-based Initiatives to Increase Vaccination Coverage among African Americans

Posted In: Reinforce and expand partnerships

Population(s) of focus

African American and other underserved communities

Black family showing vaccines on their arms

Through the CDC’s Partnering for Vaccine Equity (P4VE) program, the Conference of National Black Churches (CNBC) works with member denominations and partners across the U.S. through their Mobilizing the African-American Community to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy: Trusted Voices, Trusted Content, Trusted Spaces initiative to increase vaccine uptake, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and train trusted messengers in African American communities.


CNBC’s The Black Church Mobilizing African-American Communities to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy:  Trusted Voices, Trusted Content, Trusted Spaces program leverages the trust and influence of faith leaders and high profile influencers in major cities, rural and remote areas to champion vaccine adoption, dispel myths about vaccines, disseminate accurate and culturally-specific information, increase access to vaccines, motivate communities to get vaccinated and increase faith in the medical community.

Early Impact

The combined efforts of CNBC’s network of churches distributed more than 650,000 vaccinations, trained more than 4300 pastors and faith leaders to be vaccine advocates and influencers, and hosted more than 1200 vaccination sites at member churches across the nation. CNBC has also produced more than 3000 public service announcements and social media posts, produced more than 12,000 pieces of materials encouraging vaccine uptake and providing vaccine education, hosted more than 4500 vaccine-related events to distribute vaccine education and information, and hosted webinars and town halls focused on sharing education, correcting misinformation, and debunking myths about vaccines.

Lessons Learned
  • During the project, several churches saw the benefit of
  • Providing vaccinations in the evenings or weekends outside of standard working hours to make it easier for working families to receive vaccination.
  • Inviting family units to reach adults who may be hesitant or unmotivated to get vaccinated.
  • Reassuring individuals that the environments or opportunities were safe and free of reprisal, exposure, detention, or arrest.
  • Meeting people where they are and incorporating vaccination opportunities into existing activities and locations.
  • Providing incentives. The incentive does not have to be large and does not have to be money, though it is important to match the incentive to the community being served.
  • Having consistent community-based sites to win over hesitant vaccine adopters.

List of some of the partners that have made this work possible

  • Alameda Health Systems
  • Atrium Health
  • American Association of Retired Persons
  • American Lung Association
  • California Department of Public Health
  • Charles Drew University
  • Dallas Police Department South Central
  • Detroit Health Department
  • FairCount
  • Fresno County Department of Public Health
  • Genesis Hope Community Center
  • Houston County Public Health Department
  • Houston County Public Housing Authority
  • LabCorp
  • L&H Scientific Labs
  • Macon County Ministers Council
  • New York Department of Health
  • North Florida Area Health Education Centers
  • Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
  • Robert F. Smith Black Men Prostate Health Initiative
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
  • Walmart
  • YMCA Crenshaw