The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and Caritas Europa have called on the EU institutions to ensure access to vaccines for all and to ensure “extensive vaccination not only for Europe’s own safety but also for global public health as a public good In a statement published on Tuesday, COMECE and Caritas Europa commend the EU member states for their economic support to the scientific community in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.
COMECE and Caritas Europa support the global COVAX facility, which is intended to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines even in economically weaker regions. The European Union should play a “crucial role” and underline the moral urgency to make vaccines available and affordable for all – “in accordance with the principles of solidarity, social justice and inclusiveness on which the European Union is built”, he appealed Caritas Eu and COMECE. Both also ask the EU member states to use information campaigns “Overcome fears of vaccinations and misinformation“.
The COMECE ethics working group had already emphasized on Monday that it supported the European vaccine strategy and the development of new potential Covid-19 vaccines. However, these should be “ethically produced and available, affordable and accessible” – especially for the elderly, the sick and healthcare workers, the communiqué says. It is also important to strengthen cooperation between the EU and its member states in the health sector and to “ensure affordability, sustainability and safety of medical and pharmaceutical care” and “build strategic resilience”.
Pope Francis and the Vatican have also repeatedly called for fair vaccine distribution and access to Covid-19 vaccines for all people.
Don’t forget pastoral care
The COMECE Ethics Working Group also notes that the pandemic affects every aspect of life; it “undoubtedly hit us all and burdened every area of society and the economy”. That is why COMECE also emphasizes the right to pastoral care for patients and health workers.
The experts of the working group also contributed to the draft of a COMECE reflection paper on the subject of “Care for the Elderly”.
(get started / vatican news – sst)