NI clergywoman raises awareness of lack of COVID-19 vaccine for world’s poorest

A Co Armagh clergywoman is aiming to raise awareness of a lack of COVID-19 vaccine for the world’s poorest.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 12:52 pm

Portadown minister Rev Dr Liz Hughes is marking the moment she received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to share her concern for those in developing countries.

She revealed that nine out of ten people living in develoing countries are not due to be vaccinated this year.

Rev Hughes, who grew up in Portadown and returned to live in the town three years ago, received her first jab on January 29 at South Lakes Leisure Centre, Craigavon.

Rev Dr Liz Hughes.

She was photographed holding her vaccination card as well as a bar of soap, signifying that soap and water remain one of the few defences against infection for people in low-income countries until vaccines are made widely available.

Rev Hughes - a member of Craigavon Presbyterian Church - is also chair of Christian Aid Ireland, Convener of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Global Mission Council and since her retirement from active ministry has been looking after the vacant congregation of Ballysillan Presbyterian in north Belfast. She said: “I am blessed to have had the jab but I want everyone across the world to enjoy the same level of protection.”

Christian Aid Ireland’s Chief Executive, Rosamond Bennett, said: “A global pandemic requires a global solution. It is very worrying that developing countries are at the back of the queue for the vaccination roll-out despite severely lacking essential healthcare such as ventilators or ICU beds to help those who fall sick from the virus. Vaccines must be made available to everyone, everywhere, free of charge. None of us is safe until all of us are safe.”

Christian Aid is responding to the global coronavirus pandemic in 27 countries also coping with extreme poverty. As well as raising awareness on how to keep safe from coronavirus, Christian Aid has handed out soap to around 250,000 vulnerable people to help prevent the virus spreading. The charity has also given food packages to nearly 60,000 people struggling to feed their families after losing work following lockdown.

To support Christian Aid’s work, please visit www.caid.ie/coronavirus-appeal

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