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Pope Francis receives the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement that he was “able to confirm that before the Vatican City vaccine program to date, the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus.”

The statement did not say when 84-year-old Pope Francis or his 93-year-old predecessor were vaccinated. The Vatican City State began its vaccine program on Wednesday in a medical center set up inside its main Auditorium Hall, where the pope often holds his weekly audience. Both men are at higher risk of getting the virus because of their age.

In recent weeks, Francis has spoken several times about the topic of vaccines. Over the weekend, he said people have an “ethical duty” to take the vaccine, confirming that he was in line to receive one when the Vatican’s vaccination program was underway.

“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine. It is not an option, it is an ethical choice because you play with your health, with your life, but you also play with the lives of others,” the pope said in an interview with Italy. Canale 5-channel broadcast Sunday night.

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He also used his Christmas message to ask countries to share vaccines, adding that “they should be available to everyone.”

“I ask all those responsible for states, companies, international bodies … to promote cooperation and not competition and seek a solution for all, vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy in all regions of the globe,” he said. the pope during his traditional Urbi et Orbi (for the city and the world) message in the Vatican.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI speaks to Pope Francis at a ceremony in the Vatican in 2015.

On Saturday, Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano Francis’ personal physician, Fabrizio Soccorsi, announced that he had died as a result of “complications due to Covid.”

Francis chose Soccorsi as his personal physician in 2015, the news committee said.

Soccorsi, 78, was hospitalized in Rome on December 26 for a previous oncological illness, according to the Italian bishops’ conference newspaper Avvenire. It is unclear when he was last in direct contact with Pope Francis.

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