As members of the European Commission on Mission* and the European Methodist Council **, we stand in united solidarity to call for Vaccine Equity in the global response to Covid-19. As leaders, and representatives of Church mission boards and development agencies, our focus is to serve, learn from and support partners – churches, organisations and individuals who live and work in communities most affected by poverty in lower-income countries around the world. We passionately believe that it is imperative that governments, pharmaceutical companies, global and local health authorities take tangible action to more equitably distribute, and give access to, COVID-19 vaccinations and the supplies needed to distribute them.
It is vital that the richest countries in the world end any vaccine hoarding and nationalism that is limiting supplies to majority world countries. Whilst initial commitments are a good start, there is much more we can do and give to share essential resources for effective response with the wider world, in the midst of this pandemic and in the years to come as we learn to live with this virus. This equitable distribution needs to be immediate to ensure that lives are saved in every country of the world and to remove the delays and obstructions that are preventing roll out in lower-income countries.
This commitment to equity and shared resource is necessary and relevant not only for this moment in time, but for all health and economic crises. Far too often, we see that the poorest are at the ‘back of the line’ in our global health priorities. The end of this injustice is long overdue and this pandemic gives us an opportunity to chart a new and just path, as we navigate the crises of the days and years to come.
We call on all churches and faith groups, supporters and friends of our organisations to continue to help spread factual and evidenced based messaging, to do our part to stem the prolific and harmful impact of vaccine avoidance and hesitancy caused by misinformation. It is for all of us to not only do our part in receiving the gift of this vaccine, but also to help build confidence in, and ensure access to the vaccine for every one of our neighbours around the globe.
We call for Vaccine Equity now, and for every person, leader and organisation to do their part to ensure that access for all becomes a reality in our world today.
*The European Commission on Mission is (ECOM) is a fellowship of leaders and representatives of Methodist mission boards, mission agencies and task forces, or their equivalent in Europe, as well as the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM). ECOM is regarded as a related organisation within the European Methodist Council (EMC), and thereby reports to EMC annually.
**The European Methodist Council is a membership body for Methodist, Wesleyan and Uniting Churches across Europe who work together to develop a greater understanding of our shared challenges so that we can all be more effective in God’s mission. Read more here.