Anglicans worldwide call for equal access to COVID-19 vaccinations

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“Globally, over 5.5 billion vaccine doses have now been administered, but 80 per cent have been administered in high-and upper-middle income countries." Photo: Tim Reckmann via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Two Anglican Communion groups are adding their voices to demands that the world’s wealthy nations share their COVID-19 vaccines.

On Sept. 18, the Anglican Health and Community Network (AHCN) and Anglican Alliance called for an emergency meeting of the G7 countries to address “hoarding and wastage” of vaccines.

“Globally, over 5.5 billion vaccine doses have now been administered, but 80 per cent have been administered in high-and upper-middle income countries. Meanwhile, Africa’s vaccination coverage is at 2 per cent,” the two groups said in a news release.

Formed in April, the AHCN supports Anglicans around the world who work in health care. The Anglican Alliance helps coordinate Anglican churches and agencies to fight poverty and injustice.

Also in April, Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, joined nearly 150 religious leaders around the world in signing an open letter that called for equal global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The letter urged governments, civil society and the private sector to “massively ramp up vaccine production” to ensure sufficient doses for every person in the world to be vaccinated. The primate cited the Great Commandment, in which Jesus commands his followers to “love your neighbour as yourself”, for her decision to sign the letter.

“If we want to be vaccinated and have easy access then we have a responsibility to desire that for our neighbours—both those close by in Canada who struggle for access and those around the globe,” Nicholls told the Anglican Journal.

She also highlighted the interconnected nature of countries around the world in protecting public health.

Meanwhile, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) announced in April the launch of its Vaccine Equity Fund, intended to contribute to the global vaccination effort. Donations to the fund go to support PWRDF’s partners as they vaccinate people in some of the world’s most vaccine-poor countries.

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Matt Gardner

Matt Gardner

Matt Gardner is a staff writer for the Anglican Journal. Most recently, Gardner worked as corporate communicator for the Anglican Church of Canada, a position he held since Dec. 1, 2014. He previously served as a city reporter for the Prince Albert Daily Herald. A former resident of Kingston, Ont., Gardner has a degree in English literature from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He will continue to support corporate communications efforts during his time at the Journal.

One Response

  1. Providing and/or sharing vaccines is hugely important but the supply issue almost pales in comparison to the problem of getting the vaccine(s) distributed and, in some places, accepted.
    While urging governments and the private sector to step up is the right thing to do, let us also figure out ways – or simply repurpose existing ways i the charitable sector – to get the vaccines to and accepted by people. How about looking at the MSF model for AIDS drugs in South Africa?

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