May 8, 2021

Catholic Bishops Commends Government for Covid-19 Vaccines

Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi [ECM] have commended the Government of Malawi for its efforts in ensuring that vulnerable Malawians have access to Covid-19 vaccines.

The Bishops say having consulted health experts, received guidance from the Decree of the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City and having listened to the Government of Malawi that it shall do its best to ensure that all eligible people in Malawi access the Covid-19 vaccine, they strongly encourage all Catholics and people of goodwill that it is morally appropriate to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

They add they are aware of the fears and mixed feelings that some people might have towards Covid-19 vaccine especially on safety, effectiveness of the vaccine that the government has received, reminding all people that the Church has always shared the government’s concern for the health of people.

This is contained in a statement dated 11th March 2021 signed by the 8 Catholic Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi [ECM] on acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine: Love does no wrong to a neighbour [Romans 13;10].

In the statement, the Catholic Bishops say to encourage people to go for vaccination, calling upon the Government of Malawi through relevant offices to employ all necessary measures needed to uphold the genuineness, safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, saying this should include massive intensive civic education, sensitization because of the fears and myths among the people.

The Catholic Bishops implore the government to put in place necessary measures to address the different concerns that people might have concerning the vaccine while at the same time continuing with the necessary measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19.

Vice President Chilima, a devout Catholic, getting his Covid-19 vaccine shot

They say they are aware that people are not obliged to take the vaccine as it is to be done on voluntary basis, and at the discretion of an individual, saying as guided by the Decree, they are reiterating that those who would refuse the vaccine should do their utmost to avoid becoming vehicles for the transmission of the infectious agent.

…”We appeal to the conscience of all Catholics and people of goodwill to take the vaccine as an urgent regularly response to the primary need to safeguard and guarantee the health of all people…,’’ reads the statement in part.

The statement mentions that the Catholic Church in Malawi is assuring the government of its continued support in fighting this pandemic and also appeals to 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 prevention measures.

The Catholic Bishops have pledged to continue praying for the health workers and all the front liners so that infection trend and death toll continue to decrease until complete eradication, further inviting all the faithful to continue praying for the same.  

By Vincent Gunde

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