Table 1

Themes and defined categories based on thematic analysis

ThemeCategory
Faith leaders were aware of the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they and their congregations were seriously affected by the pandemicFaith leaders were aware of the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic
Solitude in difficult times
Financial loss for faith institutions
Vulnerable groups are left behind
Spiritual crisis
Faith leaders are important allies during a pandemicFaith leaders were trusted
Faith leaders collaborated with government and health professionals
Faith leaders engaged in public health prevention using spiritual reasoning
Faith leaders trusted medical science
Faith leaders were actively engaged in COVID-19 prevention methods
Faith leaders are faced with
rumours and uncertainty around COVID-19 vaccine
Faith leaders trusted vaccines
Rumours about vaccines were rampant in the community
Spiritual rumours: 666
Faith leaders tried to address concerns
Faith leaders were unsure how to respond to rumours