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Pope Francis receives first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

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Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement that he was “able to confirm that within the Vatican City State vaccine program, to date the first dose of the 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 inoculated. The Vatican City Hall began its vaccination program Wednesday at a medical center located inside its main Auditorium, where the papacy often holds its weekly audiences. Both men are at higher risk of contracting the virus because of their age.

In recent weeks, Francis has spoken several times on the subject of vaccines. Over the weekend, he said people have an “ethical duty” to get the vaccine and confirmed he was in line to take once when the Vatican vaccination program began.

“I believe that ethically everyone should get the vaccine. It is not an option, 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,” Pontiff said. an interview with Italian channel Canale 5 aired Sunday evening.

Pope criticizes people who go on holiday to avoid blockages of Covid-19
He also used his own Christmas message to urge countries to share vaccines, adding that “they should be available to all”.

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

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

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

Francis chose Soccorsi as his personal doctor in 2015, media said.

Soccorsi, 78, was hospitalized in Rome on December 26 for a previous oncological disease, according to the conference paper of the Italian Bishop Avvenire Conference. It is unclear exactly when he was last in contact with Pope Francis.

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