Religious leaders can play a critical role in sustaining public trust in the coronavirus vaccine roll-out, the acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches said this week.

Rev Prof Dr Ioan Sauca, who himself has already received a COVID-19 vaccine in Switzerland, said in a statement that "[r]eligious leaders of all faiths play a critical role in sustaining public trust in health authorities and services, as well as in the approved vaccines themselves".

He also addressed the spread of unsubstantiated rumours and conspiracy myths that may undermine people’s confidence and threaten effective public responses to the pandemic.

“As a Christian fellowship, it is our duty and moral obligation to publicly challenge rumours and myths and help people access the facts,” he said. “While moral and ethical concerns also loom over vaccine access and distribution practices, we must take up responsibility and advocate for what is right from a medical, ethical and human rights perspective.”

The WCC has a range of resources related to the coronavirus pandemic on its website.