Support Equitable Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccinations
Global Government Leaders
We acknowledge the solidarity shared by the millions of Baptists and non-Baptists alike in the face of the suffering caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. As we move into 2021, we also recognize our responsibility to participate in the solution to this crisis. We do so by:
• Calling for the cooperation of governments to support systems of coordinated mass vaccination and enhance access to vaccinations through aid and economic innovations;
• Urging Baptists globally to participate in enabling global vaccination;
• Repudiating unhelpful narratives associated with mass vaccination and asking Baptists and all people of goodwill to do so as well; and
• Issuing a clarion call for just access to available COVID-19 vaccines globally including six specific steps of justice necessary for equitable global access and a shared solidarity in addressing a global pandemic.
Global Government Leaders
From: [Your Name]
To Whom It May Concern,
The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is a worldwide Christian communion of 241 member bodies in 126 countries and territories representing 169,000 churches and 47 million direct members. This includes the BWA Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD), a network of different aid agencies in every region of the world that annually invest millions of dollars (USD) in aid, relief, and community development.
We acknowledge the solidarity shared by the millions of Baptists and non-Baptists alike in the face of the suffering caused by the COVID 19 global pandemic. As we move into 2021, we also recognise our responsibility to participate in the solution to this crisis.
- We call for strong international cooperation. Specifically, we call on government and private sector actors to support worldwide collective efforts to eradicate the pandemic and produce vaccines for all on a fair and equitable basis. This should include support for CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation) funding research and development into vaccine candidates and the GAVI COVAX instrument for global vaccination. This is the best way in which global vaccination can avoid becoming “weaponized” for political, economic, and diplomatic leverage.
- We condemn “vaccine nationalism.” High HDI nations have already purchased over 3.8 billion doses of vaccines for themselves. Neither China nor the United States have signed up to COVAX. We specifically call on the United States, including USA-based Baptists, to press for the United States to deliver on their intent to join COVAX.
- We call on manufacturers to commit supplies to poorer nations and to supply vaccines at cost at least until the pandemic is over; and urge employees, investors and other stakeholders in the pharmaceutical industry to lobby for this commitment.
- We call on faith leaders and governments to recognise the important role faith communities can play as civil society enablers, capable of mobilising people for vaccination and hosting vaccination hubs in their buildings and community gatherings. Moreover, as many unhelpful myths and misinformation abound in regard to COVID-19’s various vaccines, trusted faith leaders are also capable of dissuading these destructive narratives and building cooperation with national vaccination programs.
- We call for 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. This would include, for example, the return to school of children who have been forced into child labour as schools have closed.
- We call on governments in OECD countries to enhance aid budgets to fight the pandemic globally, respond to its humanitarian impacts, and support recovery. As poverty increases due to economic recession in most global economies, governments must maintain and increase international development cooperation budgets rather than restrict them in the face of domestic fiscal pressures.
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 world will chose to pursue equity and justice, especially for the most vulnerable.
Baptist World Alliance
A Network of 47 Million Baptists Around the World