The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) Moderator has advocated for COVID-19 vaccines to congregations in a letter on 15 February, where he addressed concerns about its safety and side effects. With people in townships and rural areas, the poor and unemployed likely to receive the vaccine last, Rt Rev Dr Peter Langerman appealed to congregations to offer their buildings to health departments as vaccination centres.

On an individual level, he asserted that getting vaccinated is “their moral responsibility for the common good, and that protecting the health of the community takes precedence over individual ideologies”. Thus, ministers and elders should lead by example by volunteering to be vaccinated and encourage people to agree to do so.

Image caption: The trial vaccine given to one of the first participants in Soweto, South Africa. Photo by AFP