Pope Francis Monday said getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is a “moral obligation” as part of caring for the health of oneself and others and urged on international efforts to vaccinate the world’s population.
In a speech to diplomats assigned to the Vatican, the pope said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause social isolation and to take lives but noted effective vaccinations have effectively lowered the risks from the disease. He said it was important to vaccinate the general population as much as possible, calling for a broad commitment on the personal, political, and international levels.
The pope said everyone has a responsibility to care for their health and the health around us.
“This translates into respect for the health of those around us. Health care is a moral obligation,” he said Monday.
However, Francis said he recognized the “ideological divides” that exist in the world today, bolstered by “baseless information or poorly documented facts.” He said such ideological statements severe “the bond of human reason with the objective reality of things.”
“Vaccines are not a magical means of healing, yet surely they represent, in addition to other treatments that need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease,” he said.
Pope Francis urged a comprehensive commitment by the international community to ensure the “entire world population can have equal access to essential medical care and vaccines,” and called for all states to work through the World Health Organization to support universal access to diagnostic tools, vaccines and drug treatments.
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.