In a television interview aired Saturday, January 9, Pope Francis confirmed that he has already booked an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination.
While the Pope did not specify the exact date of his inoculation, the Vatican says that it can happen as early as next week. Pope Francis, on the other hand, has said that it is everyone’s duty to have themselves vaccinated against the coronavirus. (Read: Caritas PH Joins Pope Francis’ Call for COVID-19 Vaccine ‘for All’)
“I believe that ethically, everyone should take the vaccine,” the Pope said in the interview aired on Italy’s Channel 5 (Canale 5). “It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.”
Pope Francis, whose elderly age and lung condition (he had one part of his lung removed when he was young) make him extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, also lamented those who stand firmly against the procurement of a coronavirus vaccine.
“I do not understand why some say that this could be a dangerous vaccine,” the Pope said. “If the doctors are presenting this to you as a thing that will go well and doesn’t have any special dangers, why not take it?”
“There is a suicidal denialism that I would not know how to explain but today people must take the vaccine,” the Pope continued. (Read: Pope Francis Has This Message for Those Who Refuse to Stay Indoors)
It can be recalled that in December, Pope Francis issued a prompt note telling 1.3 billion Catholics around the world that it is “morally acceptable” to take the new vaccines. He has also been active in encouraging everyone to support global vaccination efforts.
Vatican has said that they are expecting to receive enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for its residents and workers who live beyond its walls. They plan to start their vaccination efforts within this month. (Read: Vatican to Vaccinate Residents, Employees This Month)
Known as the smallest country in the world, Vatican City is home to about 800 people, including Pope Francis. However, when counted together with the Holy See, the city employs almost 5000 people.