Posted: Monday, March 8, 2021. 12:30 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes, Belize City: To a population skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Belize, Right Reverend Philip Wright, says have faith.
While many want a return to normalcy – a concept still to be defined after the pandemic – many have a rampant distrust for the sudden appearance of the vaccine.
Bishop Wright, who chairs the National Coordinating Committee on Vaccination, told Channel 7 News his unequivocal advice to parishioners and Belizeans generally: “I would say take the vaccine when you get the opportunity and I wouldn’t even put a but on that.” However, he acknowledges there are “legitimate questions” about what is in the vaccine and its effects both long and short-term.
For instance, people of color are concerned that vaccines deemed to be “of lower standard” are being distributed to those populations rather than the first vaccines distributed from Pfizer and Moderna. The Bishop encouraged Belizeans to read up about each vaccine and the process and be able to let go of one’s fears – to not live in the past, as he said, but to embrace a better future.
“The vaccine does represent perhaps the best way forward for us as a nation, for us as a people, for us as an economy and therefore I think it’s worth taking the vaccine when you get the opportunity,” he told Channel 7.
As to those who rely solely on their faith in God, the Bishop says his faith embraces the secular, as least as it relates to science: “I believe in a God who heals, I believe in a God who can work miracles, but I also believe in a God who performs so much of his miracles through science, through doctors, through nurses, though so many of us and this is another example in my opinion of God inspiring us and giving us enough knowledge for us to do the research and other things necessary to come up with a vaccine that can help get us out of this pandemic.”
Since early February, churches have been able to operate at half their building capacity for worship services, though not for weddings or funerals as these are defined as mass gatherings. The Bishop noted that in Belize at least, church-going is a social event, and many have remarked that they missed it in the last year or so.
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