Pope Francis said receiving the coronavirus vaccine was “an act of love” on Wednesday, as the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics joined a campaign to increase confidence in the Covid-19 blows.
“Thanks to God and the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” Francis said in a message for the US initiative “It depends on you.”
“They give us hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we work together,” he said in the video, aimed at communities disproportionately affected by the virus in North, Central and South America.
“Being vaccinated … is an act of love,” said the 84-year-old.
“And helping most people get vaccinated is an act of love. Love of oneself, love of family and friends, love of all people.”
The coronavirus has killed at least 4,370,427 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a compilation of official AFP data.
Despite massive vaccination campaigns, conspiracy theories and mistrust of governments or pharmaceuticals are fueling transmission of the virus.
In the US, the hardest hit country in terms of Covid-19 deaths, the vast majority of new deaths and severe cases are among the unvaccinated.
Francisco was joined by cardinals and archbishops of Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru for the campaign of the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative and the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development.