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AdventHealth Doctors Urge Religious Leaders to Preach Vaccination From the Pulpit

Photo: Kelly Sikkema


Vaccine hesitancy has been reported in young people in Orange County.

AdventHealth Chief Equity Officer Dr. Alric Simmonds says it’s incumbent upon local religious leaders to spread the good news about getting vaccinated. 

Simmonds says many people in spiritual communities have a great deal of confidence in their leaders, and a positive message about getting the shot can counter vaccine hesitancy. 

He says just as people need guidance about how to live their lives in accordance with their faith tradition, so too do they need information about physical health and wellness.

“And literally if we could encourage pastors, deacons to speak about getting vaccinated from the pulpit. I think that’s incredibly powerful.”

Simmonds also encouraged people of faith to share their own vaccine stories with their communities or to offer someone a ride to a vaccination site. 

He says hearing about the COVID-19 vaccine from someone you know from church, synagogue or mosque goes a long way toward combating vaccine hesitancy. 

He points out that reaching herd immunity will make it easier for people to return to their houses of worship safely and on a regular basis.

“You know if you want to be able to worship in spirit and in truth as the word says, get vaccinated, right? It’s just that simple. And then bring a friend to church, right? Bring a friend to get vaccinated and then bring them to church with you.”

So far in Florida, some 8,562,544 people have gotten vaccinated.

Find your nearest shot by clicking here.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

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