POPE Francis has said he will be vaccinated against Covid-19 as early as next week.
Pope Francis said he will receive the coronavirus vaccine as early as next weekCredit: Reuters
During an interview with Italian TV station Canale 5 – which will be aired tomorrow night – the pontiff said: “I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine.
“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.”
Pope Francis added: “There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated.”
Vatican City, the smallest independent country in the world, home to about 450 people including Pope Francis, has said it will shortly launch its own vaccination campaign against the coronavirus.
The Pope said: “Next week we will start doing it here, in the Vatican, and I have booked myself in. It must be done.”
Pope Francis, 84, had part of one lung removed during an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina, making him potentially vulnerable to Covid-19.
Vatican City last week said it expected to receive enough coronavirus vaccine doses in the following days to inoculate all of its residents and workers who live beyond its walls in Rome.
As part of its vaccination plan, the Vatican said it had bought an ultra-cold refrigerator to store doses, suggesting it will use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which must be stored at about -70C.
The Pope has urged everyone to get the Covid-19 vaccineCredit: AP:Associated Press
Last week, Pope Francis criticised people breaking coronavirus rules and those who travel abroad to escape lockdowns.
Speaking after his weekly noon blessing, the pontiff said he was “saddened” and called on people to show greater awareness of the suffering of others.
The Pope said in a video address from the library of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace: “They didn’t think about those who were staying at home, of the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people.
“(They thought) only about going on holiday and having fun. This really saddened me.”
The Pope’s announcement about his jab follows confirmation from Buckingham Palace that the Queen and Prince Philip received the Covid-19 vaccine today.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed the Queen and Prince Philip have received the Covid-19 vaccine todayCredit: EPA
The couple were given the immunisations from the royal household doctor.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have today received Covid-19 vaccinations.”
They are now among the 1.5million Brits who have so far received the coronavirus vaccination.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously vowed that everyone in the top four vulnerable groups would receive a vaccine by his February 15 deadline.
The UK was the first in the world to authorise a vaccine and 17,500 people have this week joined The Sun’s Jabs Army crusade.