The South African Council of Churches (SACC) calls for a spirit of global solidarity in access to the COVID 19 vaccines and in sharing the knowhow with preferential options for the global south, which remains poor: “We wish to make the moral point that we believe that for the COVID-19 vaccine there should be cause to bypass some of the standard commercial considerations in pricing, and the standard 20-year patent protection period.” The churches join in the lament that the rich nations of the world are hoarding for themselves inordinate volumes of vaccine supplies, in some cases in multiples of their populations. “This is an injustice that the world should not tolerate.”
The General Secretary of EMS, Rev. Dr Dieter Heidtmann, supports the appeal of the South African Council of Churches. "It must not be that the rich nations divide the Corona vaccine among themselves and the rest of the world has to wait. We need fair access to Corona vaccine for people in poorer countries, as developed by the WHO in its COVAX programme.”
The churches in South Africa encourage people to get vaccinated wherever possible: “The development of the COVID-19 vaccine should be viewed as a major milestone in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The vaccine represents the best hope to save lives in the midst of the pandemic. It will help protect people who get infected with the virus from becoming sick. As more people are vaccinated, population-wide immunity develops, families and communities will be able to gradually return to a more normal routine, thus saving lives and livelihoods. Science is clear at this point that our very best hope is getting as many people as possible vaccinated.”
Please find the statement of the South African Council of Churches as an attachment.