“I want to encourage everyone to take the vaccine. It is easy, it is painless and comfortable,” the cardinal said. “I am so proud of our country. I am proud that India has taken the lead; not only concerned about itself but also concerned about other countries. We are sending the vaccine also to other countries that are needy.”
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Indian Bishops' Conference (CBCI), this morning inaugurated and blessed the Holy Family Hospital in Bandra (Mumbai), where he received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“I was privileged to begin this, as India begins its next phase of coronavirus vaccination, with the government allowing charitable hospitals to join the vaccination drive,” said the cardinal, speaking to AsiaNews
“This is so important for our people and not only for ourselves as the Holy Father says, but also for others. We owe it to God to protect our lives. That is our moral obligation, to take care of ourselves. Also, as the Holy Father says, it is an act of charity so that others are not affected.”
“I want to compliment the Holy Family hospital in Bandra for their systematic and orderly arrangement. Everything was very smooth and well done: registrations, data storage, actual vaccination. There was only half an hour's wait.
“The vaccination itself was painless and I did not even feel it. The staff was very kind. We praise God for this vaccine which is the beginning of the end of this scourge for mankind.
“I want to encourage everyone to take the vaccine. It is easy, it is painless and comfortable. I had no reaction or discomfort. There is no need for anyone to fear. I myself was hesitant before I took the vaccine.
“As President of the CBCI, I wish to convey to our honourable Prime Minister my appreciation of his thought for the weaker countries, the poorer and needy countries. This is truly a sign of fraternal solidarity. All of us are one family under God and we must help one another. I complement the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Modiji (Narendra Modi) for this initiative.
“I am so proud of our country. I am proud that India has taken the lead; not only concerned about itself but also concerned about other countries. We are sending the vaccine also to other countries that are needy.
“Our Honourable Prime Minister’s commitment to vaccine equity is a marvellous example. Indian vaccines are distributed worldwide, particularly to low-income countries, supplying more than 60 per cent of vaccines in the developing world.
“I also want to say that I saw from the beginning the very orderly and systematic way the things are done. There was a sort of rehearsal before the vaccination drive. There was no confusion or panic during the actual process. I would like to complement the Prime Minister for this.
“The Government of Maharashtra has also been most supportive and helpful. This is very good news. To all our people I say... Please go ahead. We have this opportunity so take it. At the moment we have enough stocks of the vaccine.
“In our COVID prayers at Mass we pray for the poor and the rural areas. I am most concerned about them. I have informed the Director of CHAI (Catholic Hospitals of India). They have many branches all over. In particular in the rural areas.
“I will encourage them to see that this vaccine reaches the rural areas. We will assist where possible. Even educating them on the need for the vaccine will be necessary, to build public understanding and trust about the vaccines.
“So go ahead. Get vaccinated. It is good for you, good for your family. It is good for the city, good for our country. It is good for society and good for the world. It is our moral obligation.”