In this 2020 photograph, captured inside a clinical setting, a bandage has been placed on the injection site of a patient, who just received an influenza vaccine.

Vaccine Justice and the Most Important Commandment

Of all the commandments, which is the most important?

The most important one is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

(Mark 12:28-31 NIV)

In this pandemic, what better way to love the Creator God and to love your neighbour than to get vaccinated, advocate for vaccination for all, and contribute time and money to ensure everyone around the world has access to vaccines? The COVID-19 virus does not discriminate. Our response must also not discriminate. We must do what we can to make vaccines available for everyone everywhere.

As a Vaccine Champion for the World Council of Churches, I want to encourage you to help achieve vaccine equity by “paying it forward.” After receiving my own vaccination, I visited the Love My Neighbour website and, with other people of faith, made a financial gift that will help achieve vaccine equity. Or visit your favourite international relief and justice charity website and ask to make a donation to achieve vaccine equity worldwide.

Please also consider advocating for vaccine justice and take action to write to the Prime Minister and the Minister for International Development. The Mennonite Central Committee has a page to help us all raise our voices for vaccine justice and equity.

I found that receiving my shot was a surprisingly emotional experience. Let’s all turn those feelings into positive action towards vaccine for all.

In Christ’s abundant love,

Pastor Peter Noteboom

General Secretary,

The Canadian Council of Churches

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