Christian, Jewish leaders call for just distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

A research scientist works inside a laboratory on vaccines against the coronavirus disease in Pune, India. (Reuters photo via LiCAS.news)

The World Council of Churches and the World Jewish Congress called on religious leaders around the world to help ensure an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

A Vatican News report noted that religious leaders and organizations have a critical role and responsibility to make their voices heard in policy discussions concerning the distribution of vaccines.

In a joint paper released on Dec. 22, the World Council of Churches and the World Jewish Congress invited world religious leaders to reflect and engage on the issue.

The document points out that the new vaccines do not offer an immediate or complete solution to the pandemic.

The religious groups said global need and demand will outstrip supply in the short to medium term, thus posing important ethical questions that should be of particular concern for religious leaders.

They said that at the international level “a key concern” is for global equity in the distribution of available vaccines, so that poorer countries are not excluded from access to it.

The groups expressed concern over “vaccine nationalism” that allow higher income countries attain higher levels of vaccine supply, leaving less available for equitable global allocation. - LiCAS.news