Vaccines for everybody; needy, susceptible first
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis called on authorities on Christmas Day to make COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone, insisting that the first in line should be the most vulnerable and neediest, regardless of who the patents are for Owns shots.
“Vaccines for everyone, especially for the weakest and most needy,” said Francis in spontaneous remarks from his prepared text, describing the development of such vaccines as a “light of hope” for the world.
“We must not allow closed nationalisms to prevent us from living as the true human family that we are,” said the Pope.
He urged the leaders of nations, corporations and international organizations to “encourage cooperation, not competition, and seek solutions for all”.
Amid a spate of coronavirus infections in Italy this fall, Francis broke the tradition for Christmas. Instead of delivering his speech “Urbi et Orbi” – Latin for “into the city and into the world” – from the central loggia of St. Peter’s Square, he read it in a cave-like hall in the Apostolic Palace, flanked by two Christmas trees with flashing lights.
Ordinarily tens of thousands of people would have crowded into St. Peter’s Square to receive the Pope’s Christmas blessing and Christmas speech. However, Italian measures to curb holiday infection allow people to leave their home on Christmas only for urgent reasons such as work, health, visiting loved ones nearby, or exercise near their home.
The impact of the pandemic on life dominated Francis’ reflections on the past year.
“At this moment in history marked by the ecological crisis and serious economic and social imbalances only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, it is all the more important for us to recognize each other as brothers and sisters,” Francis said .
Brotherhood and compassion apply to people “even though they are not part of my family, ethnic group, or religion,” he said.
Francis prayed that the birth of Jesus would inspire people to be “generous, supportive, and helpful” to those in need, including those who are “facing the economic impact of the pandemic and the women who have suffered domestic violence during these months of lockdown “Have to fight.
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