CMMB Joins Coalition of U.S. Catholic Organizations to Encourage Public to Get Vaccinated; Calls for Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines

Drawing on Catholic social teaching, the coalition is promoting vaccine equity in the U.S. and around the world, for people who are underserved or marginalized.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) joins a coalition of 31 Catholic organizations to encourage their constituents and faith communities to accept vaccinations as an act of charity and solidarity with others that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and build immunity against the virus.

The coalition is promoting vaccine equity in the U.S. and around the world, drawing on Catholic social teaching, for people who are underserved or marginalized. This includes communities of color, rural areas, and others with limited vaccine availability in the U.S., as well as access for developing countries and among refugees and other displaced people who may not be citizens in their current home.

The coalition is also encouraging Catholics to recognize there are moral reasons for taking personal responsibility in an effort to end the pandemic so that society, particularly the most vulnerable, can attain physical, mental, and economic wellness.

Each organization in the coalition has committed to three major goals.

  • Leverage their communication channels and resources to share consistent information about the importance and moral responsibility of individuals to accept a COVID-19 vaccine when available.
  • Provide human, spiritual, and pastoral support for those struggling to understand, affirm, and act on Catholic social teaching, including the teachings of Pope Francis and the U.S. Catholic Bishops.
  • Advocate for the equitable distribution of the vaccine in the U.S. and globally.

As an international organization providing long-term medical and development aid to communities affected by poverty and unequal access to healthcare, CMMB advocates for the equitable distribution of vaccines in every country.

“Drawing on Catholic social teaching, it is our calling as Catholics to protect the health and human dignity of every life. Today this means every person in every country should have equal access to the vaccine. The world needs vaccine equity, and it is our duty as Catholics to advocate for it,” said Mary Beth Powers, President and CEO of CMMB. “An equitable rollout of the vaccine that prioritizes healthcare workers and those at highest risk should be considered an act of love for our neighbor. We most prioritize our neighbors, the most vulnerable people.”

“The pandemic has exposed one of the greatest injustices in our world: the inequitable access to health care,” said Mary Beth Powers. “The greatest human cost of the pandemic will be borne by people in less wealthy countries. Without vaccine equity, the pandemic will only be prolonged. Our Catholic faith compels us to share our resources and to raise our voices to ensure the vaccine reaches underserved and marginalized communities in every country.”

The coalition will utilize their respective social media platforms to share facts and information about the vaccines. The campaign will also highlight the moral responsibility of doing good works for one another and encourage adoption of the Vatican’s COVID-19 resource kit for Church leaders, which provides content for the preparation of homilies, and tailored messages that be used for parish websites, bulletins and other media.

CMMB recognizes the call of Pope Francis to foster cooperation and not competition, and to seek a solution for everyone. “Today, at this time of darkness and uncertainty because of the pandemic, there appear different lights of hope, such as the discovery of vaccines,” said Pope Francis last year in his call for vaccinations. “But for these lights to illuminate and bring hope to all, they need to be available to all. We cannot allow the various forms of nationalism closed in on themselves to prevent us from living as the truly human family that we are. Vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet. Before all others: the most vulnerable and needy!”

The coalition is providing information and resources on issues related to COVID-19 vaccines at:

For questions about the information contained within this press release or about CMMB and its programs, please contact the Director of Communications, Luke Dougherty at

About CMMB

CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) provides long-term community-based medical, preventative, and development aid to women and children who are disproportionately affected by poverty. CMMB focuses on improving access to proper healthcare to the most vulnerable populations in targeted parts of Zambia, Kenya, South Sudan, Peru, and Haiti. CMMB utilizes three pathways to providing care; through the Children and Mothers Partnerships (CHAMPS) program model, the Medical Donations Program, and Volunteer program.

With over 100 years of experience, CMMB distributed nearly half a billion dollars worth of medicines and medical supplies to 31 countries last year alone. CMMB’s volunteer doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are paired with medicines and medical supplies in remote communities, providing access to care and building local capacity. CMMB’s CHAMPS program makes long-term commitments in communities, addressing and working to change the root causes that restrict women and children from living healthier lives.

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