WelCom June/July 2021
Pope Francis has offered his support for waiving coronavirus vaccine patents to boost supply to poorer countries.
In a video message released as part of the Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World broadcast, organised by anti-poverty group Global Citizen, the Pope repeated his call for global equity regarding COVID-19 vaccines, asking countries and companies to temporarily lift the property rights they hold to speed up distribution.
Vax Live was broadcast globally in a special online airing on 8 May 2021, to celebrate hope as families and communities reunite after receiving the vaccine. Its organisers called on world leaders, philanthropists and corporations to donate enough ‘dollars for doses’ to vaccinate more than 27 million healthcare workers and to step up for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.’
In his message, the Pope lamented what he called the ‘virus of individualism’, saying it doesn’t lead to freedom or equality, but indifference to the suffering of others. He said the virus of individualism, much like the coronavirus, has many variants.
‘A variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, an internationalism of vaccines,’ the Pope said. ‘Another variant is when we place the laws of the market or intellectual property over the laws of love and the health of humanity. Another variant is when we create and foster a sick economy, which allows a few very rich people, to own more than all the rest of humanity, and production and consumption patterns to destroy the planet, our “Common Home’,’’ he said.
Francis began his message, addressed to ‘young people in age and spirit’ by noting that he’s an old man ‘who does not dance or sing like you, but who believes with you that injustice and evil are not invincible.’
At Pope Francis request, several thousand homeless and needy people from all over Rome have received the Pfizer vaccine for free, courtesy of the Vatican.
Source: Vatican News, The Guardian