Senior figures in the Church of England have joined the fight against vaccine misinformation by urging their congregations to get a Covid-19 jab.
Thirteen bishops have put out a video following fears anti-vaccination conspiracy theories are causing low uptake among certain communities, and undermining the immunisation drive.
It is part of the NHS-backed #GiveHope campaign encouraging communities to seek accurate information, hold local conversations and to encourage one another to accept a jab.
The campaign’s aims are:
– Have a conversation
– Offer information
– Practical support
– Engage and share
Among those appearing in the video are Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, and Bishop of London Sarah Mullally.
The archbishop says: “We are all followers of Jesus Christ and while our churches may look different we are all agreed on one thing, we have to do everything in our power to give hope and to stop Covid.”
The bishop adds: “Most of us have suffered fear and loss, and Covid-19 has again revealed the inequalities in our society.”
The UK's vaccination programme is nearing 16 million doses.
Our church leaders have joined together to encourage you to take the vaccine when it's offered.
— The Church of England (@churchofengland) February 18, 2021
The short video emphasises the vaccines have been “robustly tested” by some of the world’s best scientists.
It urges those with concerns to speak to their GP or pharmacists instead of rejecting the vaccine outright.
The video states taking the vaccine “will hasten the day when we can be together again” and getting a jab is an “an act of love” that protects those around us.
The video finishes with a message from Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, stating: “If the vaccine was good enough for Her Majesty, then it is good enough for us.”
The Church of England said figures in the church would be sharing the #GiveHope campaign on their social media channels.