The poorest and weakest members of society should be vaccinated first when a vaccine against the new coronavirus is ready, Pope Francis told the United Nations General Assembly today.
In a video message to the UN, Pope Francis said from the Vatican that the Covid-19 pandemic showed the urgent need to prioritise public health worldwide and to ensure access to vaccines: “If anyone should come first, let them be the poorest, the most vulnerable, those who are often confronted with discrimination because they have neither power nor money,” he said.
He also highlighted that the rich countries should not stockpile vaccines against the new coronavirus, while the World Health Organisation warns against “vaccine nationalism” in the COVID-19 pandemic. He urged rich countries to share vaccines with developing countries.
Pope Francis reiterated his call on rich countries to reduce or forgive the debts of poor countries. He called for changes in economic and financial institutions so that they could “respond more quickly to the rapidly growing inequality between the super-rich and the poor.”