A report from the Vatican disclosed that Pope Francis and the former Pope, Pope Benedict XVI received the coronavirus vaccine. The 84 year old Pope Francis received his first dose of the vaccine as part of the Vatican City State Vaccination Programme. Pope Benedict, aged 93, also received his first dose of the vaccine. He stepped down in 2013 and now lives in a consecrated monastery in the Vatican Gardens. According to media reports, they received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine that was authorised for use in the European Union on December 21.
In an interview that was broadcast recently, Pope Francis requested people to receive the vaccine and said that opposition to the coronavirus vaccine is a “suicidal denial”.
The Pope limited his interaction with the public ever since the virus struck Italy early last year. There were concerns about how he would cope if he became infected with the virus considering his advanced age as well as history of his lung problems. According to biographer Austen Ivereigh, the Holy Father almost lost his life at the age of 21 when he developed pleurisy and he had to remove one of his lungs.