Garvagh gran raises awareness of coronavirus ‘vaccine injustice’
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Christian Aid supporter Rachel McCormick (69) received her jab recently and was photographed afterwards holding her vaccination card and a bar of soap, signifying that soap and water remain among the few defences against infection for people in low-income countries until vaccines are made widely available.
So far, 130 countries have not started the vaccine roll out, including all 10 of the African countries in which Christian Aid works. A recent Savanta ComRes poll carried out for Christian Aid found that nearly two-thirds of people in Northern Ireland want poorer countries to be prioritised equally by a global coronavirus vaccine programme.
Christian Aid Ireland’s Chief Executive, Rosamond Bennett, said: “This is a not a time to hoard but a time to share. It is very worrying that as richer countries secure enough doses to vaccinate their citizens several times over, developing countries are at the back of the queue for the roll-out. Vaccines must be made available to everyone, everywhere, free of charge.”
Christian Aid has responded to the coronavirus pandemic in 27 countries which are also coping with extreme poverty. As well as raising awareness of how to keep safe from coronavirus, Christian Aid has handed out soap to around 250,000 vulnerable people to help keep them safe from the virus. The charity has also given food packages to nearly 60,000 people struggling to feed their families after losing work following lockdown.
Rachel McCormick has been a Christian Aid supporter for many years. She is the volunteer manager of The Changing Room, Christian Aid’s charity shop in the village of Garvagh, a venture she set up herself in 2016. And in 2018, the grandmother-of-five also completed a daring 10,000 ft skydive to raise funds for the charity.
In a normal year, the shop and events such as the skydive raise many thousands of pounds to fund Christian Aid’s work but the lockdown has meant a steep decline in the charity’s income and Rachel is worried: “Although fundraising events are cancelled and the shop is closed, coronavirus and climate change are driving millions more into poverty, so I would encourage people to give what they can to help.”
To support Christian Aid’s work while the vaccination is out of reach for the world’s poorest people, please call 028 9064 8133 or visit www.caid.ie/coronavirus-appeal