Pope Francis, 84, gets Pfizer Covid jab after telling Catholics ‘it’s their moral duty’ to have Covid vaccine

POPE Francis has received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine, the Vatican has announced.

The 84-year-old pontiff was among the first of the Vatican’s 450 residents to get the jab as the nation-state began its vaccine rollout on Wednesday.

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Pope Francis, who only has one lung after the other was removed due to an infection while he was a teenager in Argentina, has called on Catholics to follow his lead, calling it an “ethical duty”.

Pope Emeritus Benedict, 93, was also vaccinated against the virus on Thursday as Vatican City’s jabs programme began in earnest.

The pair are expected to receive their second dose in around three weeks.

Francis said it was an 'ethical duty' for everyone to have the vaccine, to protect their own health and the health of others.

Ethically, everyone should take the vaccine

“It must be done,” he urged his followers during an interview with TV station Canale 5.

“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine,” the Pope said.

“It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others.”

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, said it addressed the question after receiving several requests for 'guidance' during recent months.

The first to be vaccinated in the Vatican will be health care and public safety personnel, the elderly, and people most frequently in contact with the public.

The vaccinations come just days after the Pope’s personal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, died of complications from Covid-19.

Soccorsi, 78, was in hospital and was being treated for cancer but died on January 9. He had been the Pope’s doctor since 2015.

The Vatican has so-far confirmed 27 cases of coronavirus, with at least 11 of them among the Swiss Guard who share a communal barracks.

'I can confirm that, as part of the Vatican City State vaccination programme to date, the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus,' spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

Pope Francis has been a vocal supporter of vaccines, despite concerns among Catholics because they are partly based on research carried out using tissue from aborted infants.

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