Led by UNICEF UK, with the online fundraising platform Crowdfunder, the campaign offers people a practical way to give thanks for their Covid-19 vaccination, by making a voluntary donation to help pay for jabs for others around the world.
It aims to help fund almost two billion Covid-19 vaccines for health workers and the most high risk and vulnerable people on our planet. The money raised will also help UNICEF provide tests and treatments to people in 190 countries around the world through the global COVAX initiative.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, encouraged people and congregations to donate and to spread the word in the community, as a practical demonstration of Jesus’s command to love our neighbour.
VaccinAid is being supported by other faith groups, businesses, celebrities and the NHS.
Using the Crowdfunder platform, individual donations can be given, or communities - including parishes - can sign-up to fundraise together.
Local churches are being encouraged to join the campaign, with resources available to download for free on the AChurchNearYou.com Resource Hub to share on social media, newsletters or notice boards.
The campaign launched today has been developed in just a few weeks following a meeting convened by Archbishop Justin with faith leaders, Government and NGOs to discuss how people in the UK could do something practical in response to the real sense of gratitude they have felt as they and their loved-ones receive their vaccines.
Archbishop Justin said: “The Covid-19 crisis has had a profound impact on people here and around the world, but vaccines offer the hope of a brighter future. I’m delighted that churches and other faith groups in the UK are supporting the VaccinAid campaign.
“There is no better way to show our deep gratitude for the gifts of science and medicine than making sure vulnerable people around the world are also given a shot.
“At the heart of the Christian faith is Christ’s call to love our neighbour: keeping one another safe from this terrible disease is part of living that out. I encourage people to donate whatever they can, so we can build a better world together.”
Bishop Michael Beasley, the Bishop of Hertford and an epidemiologist, who played a key role in helping set up the campaign, said: “Covid-19 has affected us all - every home, family, school, business and community all around the world.
“And because of the way this virus works we know that it won’t be over for anyone until it’s over for everyone. That’s why I’ve been delighted to throw my support behind VaccinAid.
“It offers each of us the opportunity to play our individual part in bringing this world wide epidemic to an end.
“If, like me, you’ve had your jab, you’ll know the feeling of relief, gratitude and thankfulness that happens when you’ve been protected from COVID.
“I’d love the whole world to experience that feeling and protection too. So let’s give the world a shot!”
For more information on the campaign go to www.vaccinaid.org to donate or begin fundraising.