Chief Rabbi says campaign to fund two billion vaccine jabs ‘reflects finest of Jewish values’

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has endorsed Vaccinaid, a drive to supply Covid vaccines to 190 countries


A global vaccine campaign to supply two billion jabs to 190 different countries has received a ringing endorsement from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who has said it “reflects the finest of Jewish values”.

Vaccinaid, which is being administered by Unicef UK, is said to be the biggest vaccine drive in history.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis said: “We are all living and breathing the pandemic, and we are all part of the miracle of vaccination — and I purposely call it a miracle. Usually vaccinations take at least 10 years, to be trialled, tested, and eventually rolled out. We saw that it only took about 10 months, which was quite extraordinary — and the vaccinations have become the game changer. We in Britain are extraordinarily fortunate and blessed to be in a country where not only is there access to the vaccinations, but it is for free — it’s a gift.”

He said he believed it was appropriate to express thanks for such a gift. “What better way to enable people who don’t have access than to be blessed in the same way as we are? The aim is that by the end of 2021 to enable people in 190 countries to have access to this essential, incredible gift. We have the opportunity to give the gift of life”.


The Chief Rabbi said a central tenet of Judaism was “if you save one life, it is as if you have saved the world. We, all of us, have this opportunity to fulfil this. And we ourselves will benefit, because as long as one person in this world has the virus, we will continue to be vulnerable. I consider it a mitzvah for us.”

Rabbi Mirvis said another relevant Talmudic teaching was that the world stands on three things, one pillar of which was “gemilut hasadim”, or lovingkindness. “That’s the make or break of where we are at. This entire campaign resonates very deeply with Jewish values”.

He had himself been vaccinated and was “filled with gratitude at the miracle of it and the blessing of being able to receive it. I wanted to express my thanks in a tangible way, and this programme provides the opportunity to do it.”

The Chief Rabbi, who is joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other spiritual leaders in his endorsement of the Vaccinaid campaign, said: “It’s not a religious campaign in that it is not organised by religious bodies. But the essence of the campaign, and what it seeks to achieve, is one which reflects the finest religious values.”

Donations to the Vaccinaid programme, ‘Give the World A Shot’, may be made at


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