The Vatican started vaccinating Rome’s homeless against COVID-19 today.
The vaccinations took place in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, the huge auditorium where weekly papal general audiences take place, but which has been largely disused because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The process was overseen by 57-year-old Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Polish head of the papal charities office, who has taken the lead in taking care of the homeless in Rome.
About 25 homeless people were taken care of at the facility run by the office. They have been vaccinated the first dose of the vaccine, while more homeless people are scheduled to be vaccinated in the coming days, according to a statement.
Last week, 84-year-old Pope Francis and the ex-pope, 93-year-old Benedict, received the first dose of the vaccine.
Pope Francis said in a TV interview that everyone should be vaccinated: “It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others,” he told Italy’s Canale 5 TV station.
Under Pope Francis, the Vatican has inaugurated a number of facilities to help Rome’s homeless people, including a clinic, bathing facilities and haircutting services.