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Christian nationalism, vaccine hesitancy and science skeptics | EurekAlert!

Christian nationalists are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine while political conservatives express high skepticism toward the coronavirus in general, two new studies published by West Virginia University sociologists conclude.

In their first report, published in Vaccine, researchers found that Christian nationalism—the belief that Christianity should permeate American civic life ‑ is one of the strongest predictors of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and is negatively associated with having received or planning to get the vaccine.

“It’s the belief that Americans are chosen by God and that God protects them,” said Katie Corcoran, associate professor of sociology and lead author of the report. “They tend not to trust science and are against government intervention so they’re more focused on individual freedoms than public health protections. It’s hypothesized that those are the reasons that Christian nationalists are less likely to receive the vaccine and are more likely to not trust it.”

Corcoran and her co-authors, Christopher Scheitle, also an associate professor of sociology, and graduate research assistant Bernard DiGregorio, used a national sample of 2,000 U.S. adults who completed a survey last spring on religious identities and behaviors as well as attitudes toward COVID-19.

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Source: Christian nationalism, vaccine hesitancy and science skeptics| EurekAlert!

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