The Vatican COVID-19 Commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life issue 20-point joint paper addressing the issues and priorities arising at the various stages of vaccine journey, from research and development to patents and commercial exploitation, including approval, distribution and administration.
The paper reiterates the critical role of vaccines to defeat the pandemic, not just for individual personal health but to protect the health of all. The Vatican Commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life remind world leaders that vaccines must be provided to all fairly and equitably, prioritizing those most in need.
Echoing Pope Francis’ recent Urbi et Orbi Christmas Message, it calls on world leaders to resist the temptation to participate in “vaccine nationalism”, urging nations and companies to cooperate – not compete – with each other.
Cardinal Turkson, head of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD), who also leads the Commission said, “We are grateful to the scientific community for developing the vaccine in record time. It is now up to us to ensure that it is available to all, especially the most vulnerable. It is a matter of justice. This is the time to show we are one human family.”
“The interconnectedness that binds humanity has been revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life. “Together with the Commission, we are working with many partners to reveal lessons the human family can learn and to develop an ethics of risk and solidarity to protect the most vulnerable in society.”
“We are at a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic and have an opportunity to start to define the world we want to see post-pandemic,” says Mons. Bruno-Marie Duffe, Secretary of the DPIHD. “The way in which vaccines are deployed – where, to whom, and for how much – is the first step for global leaders to take in committing to fairness and justice as the principles for building a better post- COVID world,” stresses Father Augusto Zampini, Adjunct Secretary of DPIHD.