Vaccinations are going well with people lining up, anxious to be vaccinated against COVID19. But, there are still many not lining up, choosing to reject the the vaccination. Area pastors are hoping to change that.

Leaders from 50 Kent County congregations volunteered to roll up their sleeves yesterday to show their communities they are walking the talk on the COVID vaccine front, each getting “a shot of love” at West Michigan Vaccination Clinic at DeVos Place, which is a collaborative effort of Kent County, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health and Vaccinate West Michigan.

“Whatever your faith tradition, the principle of love thy neighbor is pretty consistent across centuries,” said Pastor Charlie Selmon, Jr. of Wellspring Church. “Getting a vaccine, just like wearing a mask, is about showing love for ourselves, our neighbors, our elders, and our children. It is about protecting the sanctity of human life.”

In a show of solidarity with faith communities, staff from the Kent County Health Department, Spectrum Health, and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s are administering 100 vaccines to faith leaders who are leading volunteer efforts to vaccinate the socially vulnerable in Kent County.

Starting April 5, the vaccine will be offered to all Michiganders age 16 and older according to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In Kent County over 86,885 residents or 16.8% of the population have been vaccinated thus far.

Local faith leaders expect enthusiastic participation at vaccine sites in the weeks ahead.

Faith leaders have committed to continue their volunteer work registering their members and community residents for vaccination. Over the next eight weeks they will expand this work to include canvassing vulnerable neighborhoods across Kent County to register community residents for vaccination at local clinics.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.