Pope Francis, Emeritus Pope, Set to Receive Third Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

              (Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus)

According to official Vatican reports, there is a possibility that Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this month.

On Wednesday, a statement was sent to Vatican journalists that “in the second half of October the Directorate of Health and Hygiene of Vatican City began to administer the third dose of the vaccine against COVID-19, giving priority to people over 60 and vulnerable people.”

Pope Francis, 84, and Benedict XVI, 94, are above 60 years and both have preexisting health issues. In mid-July, Francis was hospitalized for a planned colon surgery that made him stay in the recovery ward for 11 days. Due to an infection he suffered in his youth, he had part of his lung tissue removed.

In January, Francis and Benedict XVI got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as the Vatican kick-started a campaign to encourage vaccination among Catholics within and outside the Vatican City walls. 

In a bid to fight the pandemic, homeless people and the less privileged are allowed into the Catholic state to be vaccinated. Consequently, the Vatican has made contributions at the World Trade Organization and World Health Organization to put aside vaccine exclusive rights to permit research facilities around the world to produce their vaccines. 

Catholic organizations members have also contacted the Biden administration to support the waiver of vaccine exclusive rights.

In August, Pope Francis and bishops in North and South America encouraged people to receive the vaccine, describing it “an act of love.” The message was delivered as part of a media campaign by the Ad Council to combat vaccine hesitancy.

“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” Pope Francis said in the message.

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