At their Summer General Meeting, which concluded earlier this month, bishops have renewed their message of encouragement to Catholics to support a programme of vaccination, not only for their own good, but for the protection of life and the health of those who are vulnerable.
Bishops acknowledged the hard work that has been done in both jurisdictions in Ireland to implement the Covid-19 vaccination programme and offered their appreciation to all who have been involved in the process. It was also noted that many people have expressed their appreciation of the professionalism and courtesy that they have experienced at the vaccination centres.
Last December, bishops wrote to the relevant authorities in both jurisdictions in Ireland, and also in Westminster, expressing concern at the dependence of some vaccines on human foetal cell lines and asking that, in the future, the focus be placed on developing ethically untainted vaccines, and this appeal was renewed today.
Recognising the urgent need to address the huge shortfall of vaccine supply to developing countries, bishops welcomed commitments made by the G7 group of nations, during its meeting last week on 11 – 13 June, to make large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines available to developing countries and by the EU to support the expansion of vaccine production in Africa. While the quantity offered is in no way adequate, bishops stated that vaccine equity is a very serious moral test for the global community, and that wealthy nations have an obligation to ensure access to vaccines for poorer countries, as none of us are safe until all of us are safe. Hope was expressed that the G7 commitments will be implemented quickly.