Former Newtownabbey cleric raises awareness of lack of coronavirus vaccine for world’s poorest

A leading Presbyterian cleric is marking the moment she received her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to raise awareness of the grim reality that 9 out of 10 people living in developing countries are not due to be vaccinated this year.
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Rev Dr Liz Hughes, who for 17 years was the minister of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church in Newtownabbey and now looks after the vacant congregation of Ballysillan Presbyterian in north Belfast, received her first jab on January 29.

She was photographed holding her vaccination card as well as 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.

Rev Hughes, who is Chair of Christian Aid Ireland and Convener of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Global Mission Council, said: “I am blessed to have had the jab but I want everyone across the world to enjoy the same level of protection.”

Rev Dr Liz Hughes holds her coronavirus vaccination card and a bar of soap to signify that soap and water remain one of the few defences against infection for people in low-income countries until vaccines are made widely available.Rev Dr Liz Hughes holds her coronavirus vaccination card and a bar of soap to signify that soap and water remain one of the few defences against infection for people in low-income countries until vaccines are made widely available.
Rev Dr Liz Hughes holds her coronavirus vaccination card and a bar of soap to signify that soap and water remain one of the few defences against infection for people in low-income countries until vaccines are made widely available.

Christian Aid Ireland’s Chief Executive, Rosamond Bennett, added: “A global pandemic requires a global solution. It is very worrying that developing countries are at the back of the queue for the vaccination roll-out despite severely lacking essential healthcare such as ventilators or ICU beds to help those who fall sick from the virus.

Vaccines must be made available to everyone, everywhere, free of charge. None of us is safe until all of us are safe.”

Christian Aid is responding to the global coronavirus pandemic in 27 countries also coping with extreme poverty.

As well as raising awareness on how to keep safe from coronavirus, Christian Aid has handed out soap to around 250,000 vulnerable people to help prevent the virus spreading.

The charity has also given food packages to nearly 60,000 people struggling to feed their families after losing work following lockdown.

To support Christian Aid’s work, visit www.caid.ie/coronavirus-appeal

Last month the Times reported that Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has offered to make its facilities available as part of the mass Covid vaccination programme.

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