Vatican City, Holy See:
Both Pope Francis and his predecessor, former Pope Benedict XVI, received the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday.
“I can confirm that as part of the Vatican City State Immunization Program, the first dose of the Kovid-19 vaccine has been given to Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus,” said spokeswoman Matteo Bruni.
It was already reported when 84-year-old Francis was found on Wednesday, the first day of the Vatican’s vaccination campaign, but officials refused to confirm the news.
The Vatican news portal said that the 93-year-old Benedict was given a dose on Thursday morning.
The former Pontiff, who undertook the trek in 2013 and now lives in a converted monastery in Vatican gardens, is becoming increasingly vulnerable.
In an interview aired over the weekend, Francis urged people to get the vaccine.
“There is a suicidal refusal that I cannot explain, but today we have to be vaccinated,” he told Canale 5.
Argentina is known for its love of being among its flock and is often depicted without a mask.
But he has limited his interactions with the public since the virus first swept Italy early last year.
There was concern as to how he would cope if he became infected, given his age and history of lung problems.
The pope almost died when he was 21, after developing pleurisy, which caused part of one of his lungs to be removed, according to biographer Austen Iverih.
He recalled the incident in a recent book, “Let Us Dream”: “I have some understanding of how people with coronovirus feel as they struggle to breathe on the ventilator.”
Media reports suggested that Pope Francis obtained the Pfizer-BioNotech vaccine, which was authorized for use in the European Union on 21 December.
(This story is not edited by NB staff and auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)