Pope Francis and Benedict XVI receive second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Vatican City, Feb 5, 2021 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI have both received their second and final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a Vatican source confirmed to CNA.

Pope Francis and Benedict had received the first dose of the vaccine last month, as confirmed by Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, on Jan. 14.

The Vatican began administering vaccinations against the coronavirus on Jan. 13.

Vatican residents and employees and their families are receiving their doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall.

Vatican City State, the world’s smallest independent nation-state, has a population of around 800 people. But together with the Holy See, the sovereign entity that predates it, it employs more than 4,000 people.

Vatican journalists traveling with Pope Francis on his trip to Iraq March 5-8 are required to get the vaccination against COVID-19.

Two Vatican cardinals published a statement about the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 5, urging countries in the Global North to ensure equitable access to the vaccination in the Global South.

The appeal from Caritas Internationalis president Cardinal Luis Tagle, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, called for “a holistic, multi-stakeholder approach to avoid the danger of the pandemic getting out of hand in the Global South which may then lead to a global humanitarian crisis again.”

“Since every life is inviolable, nobody must be left out,” they said. The document was also signed by Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Aloysius John.

“The poor, minorities, refugees, the marginalized are the most exposed to the virus. Taking care of them is a moral priority because abandoning them puts them and the global community at risk. Our collective well-being depends on how we care for the least,” the statement said.

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