Pope Francis to Require Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Tests From Vatican Staff - Report
© AP Photo / Gregorio BorgiaIn this Dec. 31, 2019 file photo, Pope Francis stops by the Nativity exposed in St. Peter's square after presiding over vespers of the Feast of St. Mary and Te Deum of Thanksgiving at year's end, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
© AP Photo / Gregorio Borgia
Pope Francis had previously said that everyone in the Vatican had been vaccinated, "except for a small group, in which we are studying how to help them." The pontiff called for greater discussion of the topic so as to clarify any questions surrounding the vaccines.
The Vatican is preparing to introduce mandatory vaccinations or regular COVID-19 testing among the Holy See’s personnel, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
High-ranked Vatican officials will reportedly be required to comply with the rules, planned to come into force on October 1. Those who fail to provide a vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test would be considered as “unjustly absent” and deprived of salary.
Earlier, reports said that a vaccination skeptic in the College of Cardinals had been hospitalized with the coronavirus.
The pontiff then called the controversy over vaccination among Christians strange, noting that “humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines.” He added that the debates surrounding the various vaccines had created uncertainty or fear.
“Even in the College of Cardinals there are some vaccine negationists, but one of them, poor thing, has been hospitalized with the virus. These are the ironies of life," the Pope said.
Pope Francis was vaccinated in January, urging Catholics to follow his lead and saying it is a “moral obligation.”