Humanists and Christians urge as many as possible to get vaccinated against Covid-19

Humanist and Christian leaders have come together to urge as many people as possible to get vaccinated against Covid-19. The move, by the UK’s humanist movement and by Churches Together in England the Scottish Church Leaders Forum on behalf of their around 60 member churches, is being made now that everyone over 40 has been offered the vaccine, and the NHS’s vaccination campaign has moved on to younger people. It is vital that younger people get vaccinated, as even though they may be at less risk themselves, they may still present a risk to others.
The two parties have organised similarly worded statements that are intended to better speak to people who share their own beliefs. The joint intervention underlines the importance of the vaccination campaign.

The humanist statement has been signed by 60 people, including the Chief Executives of Humanists UK and Humanist Society Scotland, Coordinators of Wales Humanists and Northern Ireland Humanists, the Editor of New Humanist, the officers of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group, and high-profile humanists like Stephen Fry, Alice Roberts, Richard Dawkins, Sandi Toksvig, Jim Al-Khalili, and Polly Toynbee.

The Christian statement has been signed by Churches Together in England’s General Secretary, Rev’d Dr Paul Goodliff, on behalf of its 50 member churches, and Revd Dr John McPake, Secretary to the Scottish Church Leaders Forum, on behalf of its around ten members. Those include the major churches from the Anglican, Catholic, Presbytarian, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Orthodox, and Lutheran traditions, as well as Free Churches, Quakers and others.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:

‘The UK’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has been a tremendous success, but if we are to have any hope of lifting Covid restrictions entirely, we need a large share of the population to be vaccinated. There is clearly therefore further to go. Some younger people may be hesitant to get vaccinated due to being at less personal risk from the virus, and concerns around blood clots, but our simple message is that they should still take up the jab offered to them, as this is the best way to save lives and potentially bring the pandemic to an end.’

Churches Together in England General Secretary Rev’d Dr Paul Goodliff commented:

‘People of goodwill and with a concern for the welfare of the most vulnerable in society quite properly collaborate together in commending vaccination as the most significant tool in the fight with Covid pandemic. Christians widely support the vaccination programme, as do humanists, and both share a concern for the common good.’