Vicar raises funds for vaccines in poor countries
King’s Lynn vicar Rev Becca Rogers has set up a fundraising campaign to help people in low-income countries access the Covid vaccine.
Rev Rogers writes: “I heard in a recent news report the director-general of the World Health Organisation warning of a 'catastrophic moral failure'. He warned that in the scramble for the vaccine, poorer countries were missing out. I looked into this more and discovered that just 14 per cent of countries owned 53 per cent of available vaccines,” explains Becca.
“I started discussing this with others locally, over Facebook. One friend said: 'I would happily pay for my vaccine as I'm fortunate enough to be able do so', and the idea sprang from there. We could ask people to consider donating when they receive their vaccine, or in thanks for someone close to them receiving it.
“I loved the idea that we can build on people's positivity about the vaccine, and awareness that we are so privileged to have it so soon, to invite people to donate and enable others to access it too.”
So Becca set up a JustGiving page with the following plea:
I'm sure, like me, you are hugely grateful that your loved ones will be receiving the COVID vaccine soon. Some already may have had it. What is sure, is that by the end of the year, everyone in the UK will have been offered this potentially life-saving treatment, so that we can go back to doing the things we love. Tragically, this is not true for millions of people in the world.
It is estimated that only 10 per cent of people in low-income countries will receive the vaccine this year. Many will have to wait until 2024.The inequality in our world is desperate, but there are things we can do.
The Astra-Zeneca vaccine costs between £5 and £10 for two doses. Would you consider donating this much to enable someone, somewhere else in the world, to have the vaccine? You might like to donate this once your own vaccine letter comes through, or even in the knowledge that you'll be getting it soon. It could also be a gesture of thanks for a loved-one’s treatment.
'Gavi', the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, was set up in 2000, for the purpose of vaccinating people in low- and middle-income countries. In response to the pandemic Gavi is now co leader of COVAX; a program specifically created for the development and manufacture of COVID vaccines, and to guarantee fair access of these vaccines across the world. The money raised on this page will be given to Gavi for the COVAX roll-out.
The link to Becca’s fundraising page is here.
Pictured above is Becca Rogers. Image: Tim Rogers