Mar 1, 2021
Joint Letter on Global Vaccine Access
In February, CLWR joined mission partner ELCIC in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada, appeal for just and equitable global vaccine access. Below is the text of that letter:
February 24, 2021
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Dear Prime Minister:
We write to you today to express our deep concern that access to the COVID-19 vaccine is
unequal. While wealthy countries have secured doses of the vaccine, other countries and
populations have inadequate or no access at all.
We share with you a recent letter from the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF), Rev. Dr. Martin Junge, Open letter to the Leaders of the G7.
The pandemic has highlighted multiple forms of deep inequality in the world, states Rev. Dr.
Junge in his letter. “The unequal access to vaccines reveals once again the immense inequality in
the world, now even exacerbated by COVID-19. A global approach driven by ‘vaccine
nationalism’ cannot work because until all are safe, no one is.” Equal access to the vaccine is
essential to public health and everyone’s well being. In Canada and around the world, leaders
need to give due consideration to vulnerable people and actively address systemic inequities.
We echo the LWF’s call to:
• Redouble your efforts to financially support the development and distribution of vaccines
to developing countries whose limited resources undermine their ability to acquire and
provide vaccination to all its citizens. This includes the provision of adequate funding
towards initiatives such as COVAX.
• Address the challenges related to research, development and sharing of technology and
intellectual property rights in the context of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
Canada has a moral responsibility to offer leadership and support for the global battle against the
COVID-19 pandemic. We call on you to help support fair and equitable access to the COVID-19
vaccine for all.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)
The Rev. Karin Achtelstetter
Executive Director, Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR)
cc. The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Leader of the Official Opposition
The Honourable Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the NDP
The Honourable Yves-François Blanchet, Leader of the Bloc Québécois
Annamie Paul, Leader of the Green Party
ELCIC National Church Council
LWF General Secretary