A year and a half into the worst plague to inflict Europe since 1918, Pope Francis and six Catholic cardinals and archbishops, at last, released a three-minute public service announcement on Wednesday urging people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Thanks to God’s grace and the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” the pope said in the video, adding, “Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”
“I pray to God that each of us can make his or her own small gesture of love,” the pope said.
Both Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, were vaccinated on Jan. 14.
The Vatican’s endorsement of the vaccines includes the one made by Johnson & Johnson, despite the concern of some Catholic leaders over the fact that a cell line from aborted fetal tissue was used in its development and production.
The Vatican explained that when one is unable to procure “ethically irreproachable” vaccines, “it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.”