Mara 1

Vaccinated? Very much so!

The Coronavirus and the resulting Covid-19 disease changed the world and it changed all of us. At the time of writing, 125 million people are affected and almost 3 million people have died globally. In addition to the incredible loss and the hurt due to death and sickness, countless people faced financial, mental health and other struggles as a result of the impact of Covid-19 and government measures. It is a disaster like nothing we have experienced so far.

Our efforts to #BeatCovid meant that for more than a year we supported each other, washed our hands, wore our face masks and kept physical distance.

Thanks to the efforts of scientists and experts, Covid-19 vaccines have been developed faster than ever and have become available. Vaccination programmes have started all over the world and Mara just got her first AZ jab today. Hip hip hurrah!

But there are also challenges. One of them has to do with misinformation and rumours about vaccine safety and effectiveness. The International Emergency and Development team of the #SalvationArmy (Mara’s employer) has therefore started a new series of tweets with Salvation Army people from all over the world who got their vaccine encouraging others to do the same in order to keep themselves and others safe. The tweets are meant to promote getting the Covid-19 injection as soon as people are eligible. There are some photos attached of my friends and colleagues who have already got their jab.

The other challenge is the increasingly worrying level of nationalism this crisis has brought to the forefront with rich countries stockpiling vaccines and poorer countries missing out. The recent speech by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General on 18 January 2021 stated that “The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries (see full speech here).” The vaccination tweet series is therefore also meant to promote solidarity, equality and a fair distribution beyond national borders.

In this global, interconnected world we will only be safe if everyone is safe. ‘Everyone’ includes people in all countries with priority being given to medical and non-medical frontline worker. ‘Everyone also includes ethnic minorities, refugees or undocumented migrants, people experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable people.

The Twitter account of the Emergency and Development team (IHQ-ReliefDev @TSA_ Projects) has never seen more activity than in the last year. We hope that these vaccine tweets will encourage people to do what they can to keep themselves and others safe and to #BeatCovid together. Getting the Covid-19 vaccine is an important element. Promoting that everyone else should have access too is another.

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