Local Religious Scholar Has Global Influence on Vaccine Confidence

Syed Quazwini

In their COVID-19 response, C-ASSIST partnered with influential messenger Syed Quazwini, a Muslim scholar of Iraqi origin who leads a congregation in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. The C-ASSIST team met with Quazwini on several occasions to discuss the importance of fighting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, the urgent need for community members to become vaccinated, and the religious duty individuals have toward their family, friends, and community. Quazwini preached every Friday prayer about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines, urging his congregation and community to be vaccinated as soon as possible. C-ASSIST saw a major impact on the rate of vaccination in Dearborn Heights during this time, especially through Quazwini’s social media influence, the mosque website, and his recording of a promotional video. The video was translated into Arabic and shared across other states as well as in Iraq. The cooperation highlighted the impact of using influential messengers as ambassadors for vaccine uptake not only on a local level, but nationally and internationally.

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