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World News

Church leaders across globe call for better vaccine distribution

by Cara Bentley

Church leaders and other faith figures have called for the coronavirus vaccine to be produced and distributed better. 
 
145 religious leaders including former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Archbishop Angaelos the Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, have talked about how Covid-19 has reminded people that we are all interdependent and have a responsibility to care for one another. 
 
In addition to Muslim and Jewish leaders, Christian campaigner Krish Kandiah, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair from the Church of Scotland, John Davies the Archbishop of Wales and vice-president of the Methodist Conference Carolyn Lawrence all signed the letter, which argues: "The access of people to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines cannot be dependent on people's wealth, status, or nationality. 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 reach everyone, in every country."

They say that much of the world may not be vaccinated until at least 2024: "Neglect would undermine the dignity not only of those left behind, but also of those who have left them behind...We call on all leaders to reject vaccine nationalism and embrace a commitment to global vaccine equity."
 
It is also supported by church leaders across the world, from Zimbabwe, Sweden, Ecuador, the US, Ireland, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Canada. 

They have joined calls for a 'People's Vaccine', a vaccine which is free to everyone who needs it and available to everyone in the world, regardless of the wealth of their country. 
 

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