More
    HomeNewsWorldGlobal Faith Leaders Call for Vaccine Equity

    Global Faith Leaders Call for Vaccine Equity

    Published on

    spot_img

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Stay up to date with what's happening in the Christian community

    Humanitarian and faith leaders around the world signed a joint declaration calling for “equitable vaccine distribution.” With the message: “No one is safe until everyone is safe,” the declaration urged governments to choose between “vaccine nationalism or human solidarity.”

    The group asked countries with high vaccination rates to donate their extra vaccines to Covax, a global initiative to ensure fairer vaccine distribution, aiming to give access to vaccine to the poorest 20% of the world’s population, reports Church Times.

    The international declaration, released ahead of the 74th World Health Assembly on May 24th, said the Covid-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on the inequalities among countries. “We need to build a world where each community, regardless of where they live, or who they are, has urgent access to vaccinations: not just for Covid-19, but also for the many other diseases that continue to harm and kill. As the pandemic has shown us, in our interdependent world no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

    Almost 150 religious leaders – including Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of al-Azhar; and other Christian and Jewish religious leaders – urged an end to vaccine nationalism, reports The Guardian.

    The faith leaders said, “We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to our sisters and brothers by imagining that the market can be left to resolve the crisis or pretend to ourselves that we have no obligation to others in our shared humanity. Every person is precious. We have a moral obligation to everyone in every country.”

    They asked governments to release excess doses to countries in dire need of the vaccine, saying “if one part of the world is left to suffer the pandemic, all parts of the world will be put at ever-increasing risk.”

    According to the UN, more than 80% of the vaccines went to rich nations, while low-income countries only received 0.3%.

    The UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, called for the creation of a task force “able to deal with the pharmaceutical companies and other key stakeholders” and ensure vaccine equity around the world. He said, “Grossly unequal access to vaccines, tests, medicines and supplies, including oxygen, have left poorer countries at the mercy of the virus.” He pointed out the Covid-19-related deaths in India and South America.

    Guterres reminded governments that universal health coverage and robust primary health care systems are vital instruments in winning against the pandemic.

    Meantime, Fionna Smyth, the head of global advocacy and policy at Christian Aid, said there must be “a transformation in how vaccines are produced and distributed – pharmaceutical corporations must allow the Covid-19 vaccines to be produced as widely as possible by sharing their knowledge free from patents.”

    The faith leaders said countries must not monopolize the procurement of the vaccine. They warned that, “Studies show that if we focus only on vaccinating our own populations, the world risks global GDP losses of up to $9.2 trillion (with half of that cost being incurred by high income countries) this year alone.”

    “We have a choice: vaccine nationalism or human solidarity.”

    Latest articles

    Hallow App Launches 2022 Advent Prayer Challenge

    Hallow, a Christian prayer app, launched this year's Advent challenge with cast members from the hit series The Chosen joining the program.

    Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

    The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

    Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

    A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

    Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

    The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

    More like this

    Group Gives 10,000 Bibles to London’s Children

    The Trinitarian Bible Society announced that over 10,000 Bibles have been given to London schools within three years.

    ‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

    Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

    JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

    The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.