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Justin Welby says he is against compulsory vaccines

by Kelly Valencia
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has shared his thoughts on mandatory vaccines while urging people to get vaccinated "to look after their neighbours". 

"I'm not personally in favour of compulsory vaccination by law," Most Rev Justin Welby told BBC's Today programme. "But I am very much in favour of encouraging people, of incentivising people to get vaccinated." 

The leader of the Church of England made the remarks as he was asked what society's attitude should be towards individuals who have decided not to get vaccinated against Covid. 

He said we should be "encouraging rather than condemnatory". 

"Condemning people doesn't do much good far from anything else. But also, it increases the general sense of anger that comes at a time of insecurity and fear and grief. I think we need to be encouraging people to look after their neighbours. 

"In Jesus's great words: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. So if you do that, it seems to me you go and get vaccinated, I'd encourage people." 

It is understood almost 80 per cent of UK adults are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Archbishop Justin also spoke about grief and finding comfort as the UK reached 150,000 deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid over the weekend, becoming the seventh country to pass the milestone.  

He urged people to remember that behind the statistics there is a "profound tragedy" which many friends and families are grieving in different ways and encouraged people to continue to support those around us.
 
He also supported the idea of "some national symbolism" that remembers them and symbolises life like the wall below wall St Thomas's hospital in London which has thousands of hearts painted for every who has died from Covid so far. 

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