In my last post, I urged Gen Y & Z in the US to get the vaccine immediately so they will have life and health to work for the serious local and global issues that so many of them care about. Of course, it will also mean they will be spared from getting the virus and putting those they care about most at risk.
In this post, I urge all readers to join those working for vaccine justice for our global neighbors as Jonathan D. Quick advocates in “Why US Christians should demand global vaccination equity”:
“The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 3 million lives around the world and left tens of millions more with insidious aftereffects. It is reversing decades of progress in reducing child mortality, health inequity, poverty, gender inequality, illiteracy, and hunger. Immunization against COVID-19 is the single most powerful weapon we have to end the pandemic and reclaim lost ground..”
More than a dozen safe, effective vaccines are now in use worldwide. The Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University estimates global production capacity to be 12 billion doses for 2021. This is sufficient to immunize 70 percent of the world’s population and achieve ‘herd immunity’—the level of protection sufficient to stop community spread and eliminate surges. Through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program, more than 190 countries made a joint commitment to secure enough vaccines by the end of 2021 to immunize 20 percent of the population in lower-income countries.
Despite these remarkable successes, the world is headed toward two parallel realities: By late 2021 or early 2022 most high-income countries will have achieved herd immunity and made significant progress toward a new normal. In contrast, lower-income countries are not yet on track to even reach the 20 percent vaccination target… Rich countries have made purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers that far outweigh the needs of their own populations. Based on the current trajectory, it will take several years to immunize enough people in lower-income countries to stop the pandemic.”
This timely article is very disturbing to me personally because I spent two months of every year for seven years working with and learning from good friends in Haiti in the 1980s when I worked with World Concern. During that time, these Haitian leaders created a range of community empowerment activities that upgraded the lives of those who lived in the large community of Plaisance de Sud.
Last week, I learned that Haiti is not only experiencing political turmoil but is also among those low-income countries that has not even started vaccinating their population. I immediately thought about the dear people I had the opportunity to work with. Suddenly, global vaccination became very personal for me. I am certain there are other readers who know and love friends in other countries too.
“More than 30 Christian health networks, whose teams have been in frontline combat with the coronavirus around the world, have appealed to ‘all leaders of governments to do everything in their power to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good—accessible, available, and equitably distributed.'”
We would love to learn how your church and the Christian non-profits you support are promoting global vaccination for all our neighbors… local and global! Contact me.
“Why US Christians should demand global vaccination equity” is from the June issue of Sojourners Magazine.
Feature photo: By Marcello Casal Jr/ABr – http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br/media/imagens/2010/01/19/190110MCA0586.jpg/view, CC BY 3.0 br, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9032649