The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine because he is a volunteer member of the chaplaincy team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. He received the injection on Saturday at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
The Archbishop has been a volunteer chaplain at St Thomas’ during the pandemic, offering spiritual care and support to patients, staff and visitors as part of the chaplaincy team.
Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I want to encourage everyone to get the Covid-19 vaccine when they are invited. Staff across the NHS, and health workers across the world, are under immense pressure on the front lines of this pandemic. They deserve not just our admiration but our support - and getting the vaccine when we have the opportunity is something we can all do to help relieve the burden on them.
“It has been a privilege to volunteer at St Thomas’ over the past year. Chaplains here and across the country are doing a vital job of providing spiritual and pastoral care to patients, staff and relatives at this acutely painful and difficult time.
“The rapid development of the vaccine is an answer to prayer – and it is central to the recovery from this terrible pandemic. Jesus Christ calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. Getting the vaccine is part of that commandment: we can show our love for each other by keeping each other safe from this terrible disease. To everyone in this country and across the world, I want to say please, please accept the invitation to get the jab when it comes - and encourage everyone around you to do the same.”