Pope Francis has confirmed that he will get vaccinated against the coronavirus as early as next week and called opposition to the jab “suicidal denial.”
In an interview with an Italian broadcaster on Saturday, he urged people to get the shot.
“There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated,” the Pope told TV station Canale 5.
“I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine,” he said in excerpts released ahead of Sunday’s broadcast.
“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 84-year-old pontiff has part of one lung missing, which makes him vulnerable to the virus.
The Vatican had earlier announced that it is “morally acceptable” for the Church’s faithful to receive the coronavirus vaccine whose research involved the use of cell lines from tissue obtained from abortions.
The Vatican, which starts its vaccine rollout next week, has reported at least 27 confirmed cases of COVID-19.