He also spoke about the discarding of migrants: "the people who drowned in the Mediterranean because they were not allowed to come, [this] weighs heavily on our conscience… How to deal with [immigration] later, that is another problem that states must approach cautiously and wisely, but letting [migrants] drown in order to solve a problem later is wrong. Nobody does it with intention, it is true, but if you don't put in the means of help it is a problem. There is no intention but there is intention," he said.
Encouraging people to avoid selfishness in general, Pope Francis recalled several grave issues affecting the world today, especially war and the lack of education and food for children, which have continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
"They are serious problems and these are just two of the problems: children and wars," he said. "We must become aware of this tragedy of the world, it's not all a party. To get out of this crisis head on and in a better way, we must be realistic."
Asked about how his own life has changed during the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis admitted that at first, he felt like he was "caged."
"But then I calmed down, I took life as it comes. Praying more, speaking more, using the phone more, taking some meetings to solve problems," he explained.
Papal trips to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia were canceled in 2020. In March this year, Pope Francis is scheduled to travel to Iraq. He said, "now I don't know if the next trip to Iraq will take place, but life has changed. Yes, life has changed. Closed. But the Lord always helps us all."
The Vatican will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to its residents and employees next week, and Pope Francis said he has "booked" his appointment to receive it.
"I believe that, ethically, everyone has to get the vaccine. It is an ethical option because it concerns your life but also that of others," he stated.
Recalling the introduction of the polio vaccine and other common childhood immunizations, he said, "I don't understand why some say this could be a dangerous vaccine. If doctors present it to you as something that can be fine and has no special dangers, why not take it?"