Religions for Peace Australia gives one message about the Common Good and the need for vaccination, in order to protect the entire community we call home. We understand vaccine hesitancy. People have various reasons for being hesitant. However, for the Common Good of the Australian community, as your interfaith leaders we want to encourage you all to be vaccinated as soon as possible, each one of us. We urge all faith leaders to take action and promote the Common Good.
VACCINATING for the COMMON GOOD
This statement is directed to the whole Australian community as well as being for Australia’s own faith communities. As your interfaith leaders in Australia, we need to congratulate you, the Australian people, and our elected and medical leaders and health care workers in combating the Covid-19 virus. The figures show that our Covid-19 mortality rate is 50-60 times lower than for comparable countries such as the UK and USA. This is an outstanding achievement.
As Australians, we understand danger: the danger from cyclones, the danger from floods, the danger from bushfires. We commend the whole Australian community for confronting the danger and committing to the Common Good, observing so very well the restrictions, regulations, lockdowns, masking etc. as recommended by our medical leaders. And we thank the divine for our frontline workers in our whole health care and transportation systems – they have risked their lives for our well-being on this deadly virus journey. And the journey has not ended!
During this pandemic, we have endured much. The ancient principle of the Common Good states that the good of each human person is inextricably linked to the good of the whole community. Certain goods can be achieved only through collective citizenship, collective action and active participation.
The world is now more integrated and interconnected. And the Covid-19 virus continues to attack the Common Good. Thanks to the progress of modern medical research, in double quick time we have at our availability vaccines to protect us, as members of the Australian community.
We understand vaccine hesitancy. People have various reasons for being hesitant. However, for the Common Good of the Australian community, as your interfaith leaders we want to encourage you all to be vaccinated as soon as possible, each one of us.
Vaccines provide widespread immunity. The World Health Organization (WHO) in its list of vaccine-preventable diseases lists 29 such diseases which have been severely restricted, if not totally eradicated, such as diphtheria, measles, polio, rubella, tuberculosis, typhoid, whooping cough and yellow fever. We understand the hesitancy about side effects. But adverse effects are generally mild while severe side effects are very rare. Life everyday is a risk, and we all understand the reality of those risks. We learn to live with those risks.
Accordingly, as religious and interfaith leaders, we beg you to be vaccinated as soon as possible. It is for the Common Good of all our fellow citizens. The Common Good says that we cannot all be safe until each one of us is safe. The Common Good is reached when we work together to improve the safety, well-being and good health of every person in our society.
Now is the time to take the next step in the war against this mortal virus. Vaccination for everyone!