Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb speaks during the World Meeting for Peace in Italy on Friday, 8 October 2021
"The result was the death of five million victims in less than two years," El-Tayyeb said on the closing of the World Meeting for Peace, Peoples as Brothers, Future Earth Religions and Cultures in Dialogue", promoted by the Rome-based Community of Sant'Egidio.
A fatal flaw in the distribution system has left entire continents without access to the vaccines, the grand imam of the world's leading Sunni institution said.
The crisis revealed severe poverty in the field of “duty, conscience and responsibility”, in which our contemporary world has regressed despite efforts undertaken by the world’s religious institutions, their symbols and leaders to promote the philosophy of cooperation and exchange of good among people and to prioritize the interests of the community over the interests of individuals, he added.
In a meeting held on Thursday at the Vatican on the sidelines of the "Faith and Science: Towards COP26" summit, El-Tayyeb and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called for increased awareness about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, expressing their fear of some people's refusal to be vaccinated.
The two religious leaders called for practical solutions to ensure a fair distribution of vaccines, especially for the poorest African countries.