Vatican City | Pope Francis, 84, was vaccinated against COVID-19 on Wednesday on the first day of the vaccination campaign organized by the Vatican microstate, according to two journalists close to the pontiff.
According to journalists from the major Argentinian daily La Nacion and the American Jesuit review America, both Vatican specialists and friends of the Pope, Francis was vaccinated Wednesday in the entrance to the Paul VI courtroom in Vatican City .
Asked, the Holy See did not confirm the information.
Its spokesperson Matteo Bruni, on the other hand, announced the start of the vaccination campaign for the 5,000 inhabitants and employees of the Vatican.
In a televised interview broadcast on Sunday evening, François had indicated to have himself “made an appointment” to do so, qualifying the opposition to the vaccine as “suicidal denial” and highlighting “an ethical choice” essential to protect life others.
His vaccination will be a relief for those around the pope who are reluctant to don a mask and to stay away from the faithful and visitors.
His personal doctor for five years, Fabrizio Soccorsi, died on Saturday at the age of 78 following “complications from COVID-19” while he was “hospitalized for a cancerous pathology”. Several prelates around the pope have contracted the virus in recent months.
The leader of the 1.3 billion Catholics is considered a person at risk. At the age of 21, in 1957, Jorge Bergoglio suffered from acute pleurisy and surgeons had to partially remove his right lung.
While Pope Francis does not seem worried about his own health, he is concerned about the inevitable gatherings when he appears in public.
At the beginning of December, he announced that he will go to Iraq from March 5 to 8, the first trip abroad since the start of the pandemic, in a complicated security and health context.
On Sunday, he recalled that he had to cancel travel plans in 2020, such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. “In conscience, I cannot provoke gatherings,” he commented, adding “I don’t know if the next trip to Iraq will be”.
German Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI should also be vaccinated as soon as possible, as should his entourage living by his side in a small monastery in Vatican City, his private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, said on Tuesday in an interview with the Catholic press.
In recent months, Benedict XVI, 93, has appeared more and more fragile, moving in a wheelchair, speaking with difficulty.