Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict XVI have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the Vatican. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement, “I can confirm that as part of the vaccination program of the Vatican City State, as of today, the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and to the Pope Emeritus.” The statement did not mention where the two leaders inoculated, both men are at higher risk of contracting the virus because of their advanced age. No photos of the 84-yer-old pontiff or his 93-year-old predecessor receiving the shot have been released.
The Pope, who is missing part of one lung since a surgery in his 20s, has been delivering the traditional blessing from a library in the Apostolic Palace, and not a window overlooking St. Peters, to prevent gatherings. Vatican City began its vaccine program on Wednesday in a medical center set-up inside its main Auditorium Hall, where the pontiff often holds his weekly audiences.
Earlier this week, Pope Francis’ personal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, 78, died of “complications due to COVID-19”, reported the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. As per reports, the Pope’s doctor was hospitalized in Rome on December 26.
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