Pope Francis will receive Covid-19 jab this week
Pope Francis will receive his Covid-19 vaccine this week, days after his personal doctor died from complications with the virus.
The pontiff said it was an 'ethical duty' for everyone to get inoculated as Vatican City prepares for its rollout of the jabs.
He told Italian news outlet TG5: 'Everyone should get the vaccine. Without a vaccine, you are playing with health, life, but also with the health of others.'
The city state expects to receive enough doses to inoculate all 450 residents and workers.
Ultra-cold fridges have been moved into the Holy City to store the jabs developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Pope Francis had part of a lung removed when he was a young man in his native Argentina, making him potentially vulnerable to the disease.
He has been frequently vocal in his support of vaccines despite misgivings among some Catholics over the way they are developed.
Last month, the Vatican declared it is 'morally acceptable' for Roman Catholics to receive Covid vaccines even though they are based on research that used fetal tissue from abortions.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy, said it addressed the question after receiving several requests for 'guidance' during recent months.
The Church has previously raised concerns about vaccines being prepared from cells derived from aborted fetuses.
The Catholic Church's teaching says that abortion is a grave sin, but the Vatican said Covid vaccines were acceptable because 'ethically irreproachable' vaccines aren't available to the public.
But it stressed that the 'licit' uses of such vaccines 'does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses;,
In its statement, the Vatican explained that obtaining vaccines that do not pose an ethical dilemma is not always possible.
It comes after Pope Francis' personal doctor died from Covid complications aged 78 over the weekend.
Fabrizio Soccorsi, who was chosen as the pontiff's personal medic in 2015, was hospitalised on Boxing Day for a previous oncological disease.
It is not known when he was last in close contact with the Pope before his death on Saturday.
Reference: Daily Mail: Jack Newman For Mailonline