Jewish community backs biggest vaccine drive in history
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Jewish community backs biggest vaccine drive in history

The VaccinAid campaign aims to deliver nearly 2 billion doses to at-risk groups all around the world - and needs your help to do it.

Community leaders including the Chief Rabbi have joined Jewish News in backing a campaign to provide two billion Covid vaccines worldwide.

The VaccinAid campaign aims to provide nearly two billion doses of vaccine to health workers and the most high risk and vulnerable people in countries across the world.

The vaccine effort – the biggest in history – is also being backed by the Jewish News, which will be encouraging readers to donate on its homepage.

The crowdfunding campaign, which calls on people to donate to ‘give the world a shot’, has raised nearly £1m so far.

“It’s important to me, and I believe it should be important to our entire UK Jewish community,” said the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis (Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

“So often we quote that marvellous saying of our sages from the Talmud that if you save one life it is as if you have saved the whole world.

“We have the opportunity to achieve that, every single of us now has that opportunity.”

He added: “We have through VaccinAid the genuine opportunity to reach out, to save lives, and this very much reflects the finest of Jewish values.”

…if you save one life it is as if you have saved the whole world. We have the opportunity to achieve that, every single of us now has that opportunity

He added that it was a mitzvah, an imperative, for people to get vaccinated if they are able to do so, praising both the UK’s and Israel’s rollout.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: “It is wonderful to see the Jewish News supporting the Vaccinaid campaign in this way. This opportunity to help ensure that people all over the world have access to vaccines is a natural expression of our Jewish values and I know that the Jewish News’ use of its own platform to boost fundraising efforts will make a real impact.”

Countdown’s Rachel Riley told Jewish News she was backing the UNICEF Crowdfunder campaign because it was important for all of us to help others get the vaccine for everyone’s safety.

Rachel Riley (Credit: Yakir Zur)

“We’re such a charitable nation, and we can give back, and it’s so important we do so, because until we’re all vaccinated nobody’s safe.”

She added: “We just need generosity and community spirit to get through this pandemic. 

“We don’t know what’s going to happen with the strains, but we do know that as a world we’re not safe until everybody’s safe, and we see images of countries like India and how they’re suffering … vaccines are the solution and the quicker we get them to people that need them, the quicker we can all get out of this.”

The money raised will not only help deliver 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines, but also 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits.

The campaign is being supported by the NHS at vaccination centres up and down the country, which is inviting those receiving their vaccines to join the cause and help others get one too.

To donate or to fundraise, visit https://www.vaccinaid.org/. £25 could provide 20 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to health workers, teachers or vulnerable people around the world. 

A £50 donation could train all health workers in a health facility on administering the COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments.

 

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

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