Bishops Endorse Covid Vaccine
Bishops Endorse Covid Vaccine
The Catholic Church through its Bishops has urged the general public to skip aside prevailing Covid-19 vaccine myths and queue up for mass vaccination which has been rolled out by the Malawi government today, Thursday 11th March 2021.
In a press statement released by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the Bishops, from all dioceses of the country, acknowledge the prevalence of myths, misinformation and conspiracies which have put to scrutiny the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine. But the Bishops have moved in to dispel the falsehood peddled against the jab, arguing in all confidence that it is safe.
“We are aware of the fears and mixed feelings that some people might have towards COVID19 vaccine especially on safety and effectiveness of the vaccine that the Government of Malawi has received. We note such sentiments with care and wish to remind all people that the Church has always shared the government’s concern for the health of people”
In the statement, the Bishops explain that they are highly contented with the assurance that they have been given by local health experts and a decree from the church itself.
“Having consulted health experts, and received guidance from the Decree of the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State No. 398 (issued on 8th February 2021 on the subject of health emergencies), we strongly encourage all Catholics and people of goodwill that it is morally appropriate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine that Malawi has received”
They further emphasized that the preservation of any life is a fundamental value of the Holy Catholic church adding that the clergy would always advocate for a means that is neither sanctioning or punitive in nature but which strikes a balance between protecting collective health and individual freedom of choice; without being oppressive to anyone.
In a demonstration of confidence and trust in the vaccine, Archbishop Thomas Msusa who is the head of the Catholic Church in Malawi, was among the first to get vaccinated today in Zomba where government launched the mass vaccination campaign.
President Lazarus Chakwera led the launch of the campaign in the old Capital while his vice, Saulos Chilima graced a similar occasion in Nzuzu. The launch comes barely 5 days after the arrival of the first batch of 360,000 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.
The first episode of the mass vaccination among others prioritizes front line health workers, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups.
Given that the first phase will only benefit a small percentage of Malawians, the Bishops have further implored Malawians to continue protecting themselves and others by properly wearing face masks, frequently washing hands with soap and keeping physical distance as per the guidance of COVID-19 containment measures.
They also called on government to speed up the procuring process of the second batch of the vaccine.