VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis said on Saturday he planned to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot, to protect not only their own lives but those of others.
“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine,” the Pope said in an interview with TV station 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.”
“Next week,” the Pope said, “we will start doing it here, in the Vatican, and I have booked myself in. It must be done.”
Pope Francis, 84, had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina, making him potentially vulnerable to the disease.
As part of its vaccination plan, the Vatican said it had bought an ultra-cold refrigerator to store doses, suggesting it will use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which must be stored at about minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).
Soccorsi, 78, was in hospital and was being treated for cancer. He had been the pope’s doctor since 2015.
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