Campaign for a Covid-free world
British Baptists have joined Baptists across the world in campaigning for equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccinations
BMS World Mission, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Baptist Union of Wales and the Baptist Union of Scotland are encouraging supporters to sign a petition
to the UK Government to take four justice steps relating to vaccine access.
The petition comes in the wake of a statement co-ordinated by the Baptist World Alliance
calling on governments around the world to take a series of steps to ensure the vaccine is accessible everywhere.
The British petition supports that call and its aims can be found on the newly-created website covidfreeworld.org.uk
. It encourages supporters to 'fight for a world where everyone is safe from the effects of Covid-19.'
The petition states:
As Christians in the UK, we stand in support of equitable global access to the Covid-19 vaccine. No-one is safe from Covid-19 until the vaccine is accessible everywhere, and essential to this access is the UK Government, along with governments worldwide, taking on the four justice steps stated below.
Governments in member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) must enhance aid budgets to fight the pandemic, respond to its humanitarian impacts and support recovery.
There must be strong international co-operation among the global community and global condemnation of “vaccine nationalism”. Specifically, we call on the UK Government to support worldwide collective efforts to put an end to the pandemic and produce vaccines for all on a fair and equitable basis.
Governments must enable manufacturers to commit supplies to poorer nations and supply vaccines at cost, at least until the pandemic is over, and together we urge employees, investors and other stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to lobby for this commitment.
There must be collective support for research in preventing future pandemics and for research into limiting the knock-on adverse effects of the virus on an array of services in low and middle-income countries.
The petition goes on to highlight the commitment of faith communities on these issues. It states:
Visit covidfreeworld.org.uk to add your name to the petition.
We also recognise the important role faith communities can play as civil society enablers. We commit to enabling Christian leaders to mobilise people for vaccination, acting as advocates to raise awareness and to dispel unhelpful vaccine myths.
Together, we stand both in prayerful lament for all who have died and been negatively impacted, and in hopeful expectation that in the face of this global pandemic the UK will choose to pursue equity and justice, especially for the most vulnerable.
A short animation has been created to show in your church - access it here, and below.
The Baptist World Alliance statement
The Baptist World Alliance statement
calls on governments around the world to take a series of steps to ensure the vaccine is accessible everywhere.
'To defeat COVID-19, we must defeat it everywhere and do so quickly,' the statement reads, adding that strong international co-operation to ensure vaccines are distributed fairly. 'No human being should experience the prevailing rules of poverty and exclusion in this regard.'
Baptists in leadership positions around the world have signed the statement, including Lynn Green, the Baptist Union of Great Britain General Secretary, Kang-San Tan, BMS World Mission General Director, Tony Peck, General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation, and Rachel Conway-Dole, the Facilitator of Baptist World Alliance Forum on Aid and Development.
Access the Baptist World Alliance statement here.