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‘Very likely’ that Pope and Pope Emeritus got Covid booster shot


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I.Media - published on 10/27/21

The Vatican began giving the third shot this month.

The Vatican began administering the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in mid-October, the Vatican press office announced October 27. It is “very likely” that Pope Francis as well as the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have received their third doseI.MEDIA learned from a Vatican source.

The third dose is given as a priority to people over 60 years old and to the otherwise immunocompromised, noted Matteo Bruni, director of the press office.

Pope Francis has given repeated support and encouragement to Covid vaccine campaigns, however he has simultaneously called for the measures necessary to make vaccines available to lower income countries.

The issue of a booster was therefore in question.

The director of the WHO has repeatedly urged that high income countries delay booster shots to give the lower income countries the supplies they need to at least partially catch up. Many lower income countries, especially in Africa, have still not vaccinated even 1% of their populations.

Nevertheless, following other places in Europe, the Vatican began administering the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine earlier this month, the Holy See Press Office announced on October 27, 2021. It is “very likely” that Pope Francis as well as the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have received their third dose, I.MEDIA learned from a Vatican source.

Vatican at the forefront of vaccination

According to figures for the Rome region, the Vatican has administered more than 25,000 doses since the start of the vaccination campaign initiated on January 13, 2021.

Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at that time received a first dose of Pfizer vaccine and then a second injection in early February.

The Vatican press office has not made an official statement on whether Pope Francis has received a third dose, but it is “very likely” according to a Vatican source. “The Pope traditionally wishes to remain discreet about his personal health. In the context of the administration of the third dose in the Vatican, everything suggests that he has benefited from a new injection,” I.Media was told.

The Vatican has urged all its employees to be vaccinated.

Since October 1, to enter the Vatican, a health pass is required, except to attend liturgical celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope calls for vaccine distribution in poor countries

Pope Francis has frequently encouraged vaccination, even stating that getting the vaccine is an “act of love” for others and the common good, in a video message posted on August 18.

He also regularly pleads for poor countries to benefit from doses from rich countries, as well as for the lifting of patents to allow more efficient manufacture and distribution of the vaccine.

While several countries are already well into administering the third dose, some are still very behind. In Africa, a little less than 8% of the population has received a first injection, according to figures from the African Union.

CoronavirusCOVID-19Pope Benedict XVIPope Francis
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