The Anglican Church of Southern Africa wants to make it compulsory for its priesthood to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The church has also called on its ordinary members to also “seriously consider vaccination”. In a statement issued by the office of the Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba on Friday, the church said its provincial synod voted for the resolution during an online meeting.
The church said “vaccinations for clergy are necessary because they visit people who are vulnerable to Covid-19 infection. The resolution noted that numbers of people in church congregations are vulnerable as a result of age or comorbidities.
“The vote was taken after a presentation to the synod by Prof Koleka Mlisana, co-chair of SA’s ministerial advisory committee on coronavirus, which raised concerns about declining vaccination rates,” the statement reads.
“Prof Mlisana told the synod that SA should be vaccinating 300,000 people every day, but in the 24 hours ending on September 21 had vaccinated only 195,000. The average number of people being vaccinated every day had declined by nearly 10% compared to a week earlier. In another presentation to the synod, Prof Adrian Puren of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases also highlighted the importance of vaccinating as many people as possible.”
Makgoba told the synod that in a “deadly pandemic, the right of your neighbour to life inevitably circumscribes your right to do as you like” and asked its members to “to take seriously our prophetic role in society when we debate this matter”.
The synod resolved to support Makgoba’s call for the mandatory vaccination of all clergy.