Kabwe Catholic Diocese Bishop, Clement Mulenga, has urged church members and priests to reflect and take the COVID 19 vaccinations seriously.
Bishop Mulenga says the viral disease has emerged as a global threat to humanity adding that church members and the priests should seriously consider taking the COVID 19 vaccines ahead of the anticipated fourth wave of the deadly viral disease.
Speaking after Sunday church service at Sacred Heart Parish in Kabwe, Bishop Mulenga said the COVID 19 pandemic has adversely impacted communities globally including the Catholic Church.
He revealed that the Zambia Council of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) held a meeting with President Hakainde Hichilema last week in Lusaka and one issue which came out strongly among the several issues discussed was the COVID 19 challenge.
He said the head of state during the meeting with the bishops disclosed that so far a paltry seven per cent of the country’s population have been fully vaccinated.
“We held a meeting with the head of state where we discussed diverse issues for three hours last week. But one issue that came out, out of the many, is the issue the father and the parish chairperson talked about, the reeling effects of the COVID 19 pandemic,” Bishop Mulenga said.
He said President Hichilema’s dream is to have 70 per cent of the country’s population being vaccinated to achieve immunity before the anticipated fourth wave.
“We told him (the president) that all of us bishops are vaccinated. As I stand here, I took both jabs. I took the last one in July. I got my first jab in May. It’s not that I don’t love my life, I love my life so much. Yes! Because I love it, that’s why I received the jabs. I wasn’t for the jabs but since it touches on life, that’s why I went to Lusaka to get the first jab. I got the second jab here at Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
He has encouraged members of the Catholic Church and priests who are still in doubt and unvaccinated to take the jab stressing that there is every chance to survive for the vaccinated than the unvaccinated.
The Patriarch said he is not imposing but just impressing among his flock for their own good, the good of the family and the community at large.
“You have every chance to survive if you are vaccinated rather than taking the vaccine when you are already sick. Time is now, that’s why they say, “Make hay while the sun shine”. Waiting for tomorrow will be too late,” he stressed.
“We hear so many rumours surrounding the vaccine. Yes! So many rumours. But if these rumours were genuine the entire global family could not agree to commune of the vaccines,” Bishop Mulenga added.
Speaking earlier, Sacred Heart Parish Administrator, Edwin Mwale, urged the congregants to take stock of their sitting partners.
Fr Mwale observed that some members of the church were no more because they succumbed to the deadly viral disease.
He said the COVID 19 challenge is real and members of the Catholic Church faith should adopt precautionary measures in the wake of the anticipated fourth wave.
Sacred Heart Parish Chairperson, Judith Lungu, earlier announced that the church administration had invited the Ministry of Health staff to come and administer vaccines to willing congregants.
Dr Lungu, however, said people should do so out of their own volition.
During the service 22 members received the sacrament of confirmation into the Catholic Church while four were received back after a period of separation.