The Vatican is set to vaccinate more than a thousand of Rome’s most poor and marginalized.
In a March 26 statement from the Office of Papal Charities, they announced that during Holy Week, as Easter approaches, doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be used to vaccinate 1,200 of the poorest and most marginalised people who, because of their situation, are the most exposed to the virus.
These doses were purchased by the Holy See and offered by the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital through the Vatican Covid-19 Commission. This vaccine administration will take place in the specially designed facility inside the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. The same vaccine administered to the Pope and employees of the Holy See will be used.
The gesture, the statement explains, is intended “to reinforce the Holy Father’s numerous appeals to ensure that no one be excluded from the anti Covid-19 vaccine, the Office of Papal Charities once again accompanies the most fragile and vulnerable.”
Join in Helping
In order to continue such charity toward the poor and vulnerable, specifically in giving them the opportunity to access treatment and vaccination, one wishing to help can pay for the vaccine for a person in need by giving “alms” with an online donation through the Holy Father’s charity account, managed by the Office of Papal Charities.
Pope Francis, in his message on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord 2020, appealed: “I ask everyone – government leaders, businesses, international organizations – to foster cooperation and not competition and to seek a solution for everyone: vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy of all regions of the planet. Before all others: the most vulnerable and needy!”
“In the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls. All of us are in the same boat,” he said.
Emphasizing its importance for the collective wellbeing, the Holy Father has repeatedly encouraged people to get vaccinated, strongly reiterating that everyone must have access to the vaccine, with no one being excluded because of poverty.
Last January, when the anti-Covid19 vaccination campaign began in the Vatican, Pope Francis requested that fifty needy people, mostly homeless, who live around St. Peter’s and who are assisted and sheltered daily by the assistance and residence facilities of the Office of Papal Charities, would be among the first to be vaccinated.
The medical doctors and health workers vaccinating next week will be volunteers who work in the “Madre di Misericordia” mobile health clinic, located under the Bernini colonnade, employees of the Vatican’s Directorate of Health and Hygiene, and volunteers from the Medicina Solidale Institute and Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital.