Vatican City, Jan 14, 2021 / 04:50 am
Pope Francis and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Vatican confirmed on Thursday.
Responding to questions from reporters on Jan. 14, Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, said: “I can confirm that as part of the Vatican City State vaccination program to date, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and the pope emeritus.”
The two men are expected to receive the second dose in about three weeks.
Benedict XVI’s personal secretary said on Tuesday that the 93-year-old pope emeritus would receive the coronavirus vaccine as soon as it was ready.
Archbishop Georg Gänswein told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, on Jan. 12 that Benedict XVI would be vaccinated “as soon as the vaccine is available.”
“I will also be vaccinated along with the whole household of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery,” said Gänswein, referring to the Vatican monastery where Benedict XVI has lived since resigning as pope in 2013.
The Vatican began administering vaccinations against COVID-19 on Jan. 13.
Vatican residents and employees and their families are receiving their doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in the atrium of the Paul VI Audience Hall.