Vatican: Pope receives coronavirus vaccine

World

FILE – In this Dec. 8, 2020 file photo, Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter’s Square, on the Immaculate Conception day, at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)

VATICAN CITY (NewsNation Now) — The Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis received the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Thursday.

No photos of the 84-yer-old pontiff receiving the shot have been released. The pope has advocated that everyone should get the vaccine, calling it an “ethical option” performed not only for one’s own health but for the “lives of others.”

In his Christmas message, the pope called for nations to share COVID-19 vaccines, saying walls of nationalism could not be built to stop a pandemic that knows no borders.

The Vatican has beefed up coronavirus restrictions amid a spike in cases in Italy. The pope, who is missing part of one lung since a surgery in his 20s, has been saying the traditional Angelus blessing from a library in the Apostolic Palace, and not a window overlooking St. Peter’s, in a bid to prevent gatherings.

It was from the papal library the pope gave a New Year’s blessing after forgoing a prayer service and Mass due to “painful sciatica.”— a form of pain in the lower body caused by compression or irritation on nerve roots or on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower spine down the thigh.

The Vatican launched its vaccination program this week, administering the Pfizer vaccine. Vatican City has had at least 27 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including a cluster among the Swiss Guards last fall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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