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    Religious beliefs may play a role in the rejection and acceptance of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. We aimed to explore attitudes of Islamic clerics toward receiving the COVID-19 vaccines in a semi-structured qualitative focus group study. The clerics of members of the Union of Muslim Scholars of the Erbil branch were included through their representative in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2021. This study found that both acceptance and non-acceptance focus groups approved of the existence and importance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The acceptance group intended to receive COVID-19 to protect themselves and tried to convince people to receive the vaccine. However, the non-acceptance focus group did not believe in the COVID-19 vaccine due to different reasons: (1) COVID-19 vaccines have been commercialized and politicized by the governments; (2) the government makes limitations for the people due to COVID-19; (3) making fake vaccine cards; and (4) several serious side effects of COVID-19 (death, etc.) and not receiving by health care workers. The acceptance group reported that some rumors are spread in our community and impact the public to not receive COVID-19 vaccines. This study showed that some Islamic clerics have serious concerns about the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.


    Deldar Morad Abdulah, Hamdia Mirkhan Ahmed. Attitudes of Islamic Clerics to Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine in Iraqi Kurdistan: A Focus Group Study. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness. 2023 Jun 19;17:e415

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    PMID: 37332164

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