Displaying items by tag: vaccinations
Not many countries are currently transparent and open about the procurement, allocation and distribution of Covid vaccines. This lack of transparency threatens a fair and equitable global response to the pandemic. From elected politicians jumping the queue and fraudulent vaccine rings to unlawful contracts and opaque confidentiality clauses, recent news has offered some spectacular examples of what can go wrong when stakes are high and transparency is low. Citizens have the right to know how government decisions are made and resources are spent, especially when it comes to our health. Corruption will only stop when people work together to change the system. Collectively, high-income countries have bought 56% of the world’s vaccine supply. On 10 March a diplomatic row erupted when the EU's top official claimed the UK had imposed an ‘outright ban’ on the export of vaccines. But Dominic Raab said this allegation is ‘completely false’.
Wycliffe Bible Translators are launching New Testaments in three different languages in Ghana over four days, and Christians across the nations can join the dedications live on Facebook. The Tafi, Logba and Nyagbo peoples receive their New Testaments on 25, 27 and 28 February respectively. The events, which start at 10 am each day, are hosted by a local organisation partnered with Wycliffe. You can watch the celebrations at facebook.com/gillbt.org. Also, on 25 February Ghana became the first country to receive a shipment of free Covid vaccine doses. This is a historic step towards an equitable distribution of vaccines to the areas where those most at risk live. It will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history, which will continue in the coming days and weeks.
Many are now saying the vaccination rollout has been plagued by bureaucracy, poorly-negotiated contracts, penny-pinching, blame-shifting, and secrecy. The result is a shortage of vaccines, and an immunisation crisis On 17 February Brussels announced it is now set to almost triple its orders of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine as part of an EU push to respond to the emergence of new variants and the possible need for booster shots. Deliveries under the new deal are unlikely to ease the current short-term vaccine supply squeeze but it would be delivered between April and June.
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the government announced that anyone seeking a test or treatment for coronavirus would not have their immigration status checked. It is now being made explicit that this principle applies to vaccinations also; people living in the UK unlawfully will not risk deportation by coming forward for inoculation. Ministers are urging illegal immigrants to come forward and register with a GP. The vaccine is free, regardless of their immigration status. However, this is not an amnesty for immigrants; no-one will be given leave to remain in the UK as a result of being vaccinated. The last official estimate, dating back to 2005, was that about 430,000 people were in the country with no legal right to remain; independent research since then has put the number at over a million.
As the first Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out, many people are asking what Christians should think about the safety of vaccines developed and tested so quickly. There are questions around the equitable distribution of vaccines both in the UK and to the global community, plus the ethical issues surrounding a false rumour of their connection with tissue derived from an aborted foetus. The media are full of false vaccine claims - everything from alleged plots to put microchips into people to the supposed re-engineering of our genetic code. At a webinar hosted by the Evangelical Alliance NI two renowned speakers, Prof John Wyatt and Dr Mary Neal, addressed some of these issues and gave believers guidance on how to make up their own minds about what to do when their turn comes.
Across Europe there will be further lockdowns, curfews and travel bans as the number of people infected with Covid has increased. Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte summed it up when he told Italians to expect a ‘more sober Christmas, without Christmas Eve gatherings, hugs and kisses’. We can pray for people to honour the various restrictions on public gatherings and to obey curfews where they have been imposed. Pray particularly for friends and families to exercise restraint on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Pray also for countries which will be easing restrictions prior to Christmas; may the public act wisely to avoid any further unnecessary sickness and deaths. See The EU drug regulator will meet on 21 December to decide whether to authorise the jab after desperate EU countries said the agency risked losing the trust of EU citizens if it did not act fast.