~Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service
The Vatican’s coronavirus commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life issued a joint statement calling for a coordinated international effort to ensure the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
The document highlights the “critical role of vaccines to defeat the pandemic, not just for individual personal health but to protect the health of all,” the Vatican said in an accompanying statement.
The Vatican commission and the Pontifical Academy of Life remind world leaders that vaccines must be provided to all fairly and equitably, prioritizing those most in need,” the Vatican said.
The pandemic has exacerbated “a triple threat of simultaneous and interconnected health, economic and socio-ecological crises that are disproportionately impacting the poor and the vulnerable,” the document said. “As we move toward a just recovery, we must ensure that immediate cures for the crises become stepping-stones to a more just society, with an inclusive and interdependent set of systems.”
The document quoted Pope Francis, who said in his Christmas message that humanity could not allow “the virus of radical individualism to get the better of us and make us indifferent to the suffering of other brothers and sisters,” not could it allow “the law of the marketplace and patents take precedence over the law of love and the health of humanity.”
The Vatican COVID-19 commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life also called for widespread campaigns to educate people on the “moral responsibility” to get vaccinated.
Due to the “close interdependence” between personal and public health, the commission and the pontifical academy warned that refusing to take the vaccine “may also constitute a risk to other.”
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