NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – News 8 is introducing you to people from Connecticut who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A New Haven pastor says he will not be bullied into getting a vaccine.

“Even though we are in a pandemic, we’re blessed. Even though they are telling you you’ve got to do this, you’re blessed. Stand on the promises of God,” said Pastor John L. Lewis.

Pastor John L. Lewis was preaching to churchgoers at New Haven’s Christ Chapel New Testament Church. He says he won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine because he doesn’t trust it and that the Black community in particular doesn’t want to be told what to do.

“I don’t trust this nation and what it tries to do, the things that it has done to us as a people. I’m uncomfortable with that,” Lewis said.

Lewis says one of the big reasons he doesn’t trust the vaccine is that information about COVID and the vaccines keep changing.

“Oh, by the way, did you know now you can mix and match the vaccines? When before they were saying they were separate,” Lewis said. “Come on, man, that’s unbelievable. Look at how many times this stuff switches.”

Keith Grant is the Senior System Director for Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare. He says that as an understanding of COVID has grown, information has changed and that has some people concerned. Grant says one thing has not changed.

“There are some things we are very sure of and one of the things is how effective the vaccine has been,” Grant said.

Lewis says he gets a lot of his vaccine information from social media, with one of his sources recently punished on Facebook, accused of spreading bad vaccine information. Among the topics, conspiracy theories about Bill Gates.

“I hear conversations about Mr. Gates. He wants to depopulate, he wants depopulation. That’s scary to me. For a man to have money like that,” Lewis said.

The pastor also says he doesn’t believe all those people died of COVID.

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“I would like to see the data on those individuals who have supposedly passed from COVID and what were their health conditions. More than one person has said to me, ‘the death numbers aren’t real, those people had other medical conditions. They don’t die of COVID,’” Lewis said.

Lewis says he doesn’t tell his community not to get the vaccine, but he does tell them they shouldn’t be bullied into it.

“I’m not against it and I’m not saying people should get it. Whatever you want to do, it’s your choice. I fight for the people’s choice,” Lewis said.

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