Joint vaccine message for the Church of the Province of the West Indies

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The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, Archbishop of the West Indies and Mrs. Sheran Harper, Mothers’ Union Worldwide President, have issued an urgent appeal for members of the Province of the West Indies to take the COVID-19 vaccines now being administered across the Region.

In a joint Statement, Archbishop Gregory and Mrs. Harper, who is a native of Guyana, highlighted the unparalleled suffering and negative social impact of the pandemic; and pointed to the ability of the vaccines to promote immunity and protect against severe consequence of infection by the virus. 

They explained that: “As Anglicans we believe there is no inherent conflict between science and religion, and affirm that it is God who endows humanity with the capacity for rational and scientific thinking for the benefit of humanity.” They also described as a “fallacy” notions that the vaccines represent evil designed to hurt the people of God

While acknowledging the right of adults to determine whether they take the vaccine, Archbishop Gregory and Mrs. Harper stated that: “The decision to take the vaccine we believe is part of our moral duty as Christians, unless there are medical grounds for deferring or abstaining.”

“As long as we remain a part of the population that refuses to take the vaccine where it is readily available, we participate in activities which are counter-productive to the life of our nations and with serious consequences,” they added.

Against this background, the Archbishop and Mrs. Harper, both of whom have been vaccinated, urged congregations across the Province and members of communities with whom they interact to do likewise “as an expression of your duty to care for yourself and your responsibility to your brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Archbishop-Sheran-Harper-Statement