see the decision to vaccinate as a civic and humanitarian imperative. Rotary is
not a political or religious organization, it is a service organization and
this is the lens through which we are advising you of our position.
- Global vaccination is the path to ending the pandemic
and the emergence of new variants. Rotary endorses and strongly encourages
vaccination for all individuals including our members who are currently
able to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In areas where COVID-19 is
surging, communities are facing extreme challenges, health systems are
overwhelmed, and contentious rhetoric is dividing us. It is critical that
the virus be contained so that the world may begin to heal. To that end,
the purpose of this statement is to reinforce Rotary’s position.
- Misinformation has become an “infodemic” that hinders
the fight against COVID-19. In line with our Four-Way Test, Rotary
International and The Rotary Foundation are committed to providing our
members with science-based information.
- Rotary International staff at One Rotary Center were
required to be vaccinated by 10 October 2021, as a criterion for
employment after that date. RI’s employee vaccination rate stands at over
- Globally, Rotary is actively engaged in assuring equity
in vaccine access to all people. Our efforts have included advocacy with
the G-20, and a proof-of-concept program with GAVI/COVAX to leverage our
frontline experience with polio eradication to facilitate vaccine delivery
in several low- and middle-income countries where Rotarians are active.
While we know many clubs are already deeply involved in COVID-19
prevention, we are working on additional strategies to multiply our
collective efforts. GAVI/COVAX is a partnership including WHO and UNICEF
focused on global access and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Those children for whom vaccines are not currently
available are at significant risk. Until vaccines are available for all
children, the vaccination of adults is the best way to protect children
who cannot be vaccinated. Pediatric admissions for COVID-19 are rising
precipitously in areas of low vaccination.
- Rotary salutes health care workers everywhere as they
continue to provide lifesaving services. Local recognition of these heroes
by each of our clubs can help to encourage them to continue their
important work. Rotary abhors any harassment and attacks on healthcare
- Rotary and Rotaract clubs are encouraged to
Vaccines have proven to be one of the greatest advances
of modern medicine. The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines
save between 2 to 3 million children’s lives each year, and the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative estimates the polio vaccine has saved more
than 19 million children from paralysis. Vaccines are safe, effective and
are responsible for eliminating or controlling many other vaccine-preventable
diseases such as smallpox, measles, rubella, and Ebola. And now, there is
the opportunity to end the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccines.
The eradication of polio remains a goal of the highest
order for Rotary. We can apply the lessons we have learned in fighting
polio to the efforts in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- set good examples by being exemplary role
- redouble their efforts to support COVID-19 treatment,
prevention, and vaccination efforts.
Chair, The Rotary Foundation
CC: RI Board of Directors & Directors-elect, TRF Board of Trustees and
incoming Trustees, District Governors-elect, Club Presidents-elect, Regional
Leaders, COVID-19 Task Force, International PolioPlus Committee, Communications