Pope Francis at the Vatican’s vaccination centre on 2 April 2021. Image courtesy of the Holy See Press Office.
— Rome — Pope Francis made another surprise visit, this one on Good Friday, to the Vatican vaccination centre in the Paul VI Hall, where some 1200 of the city’s poor and needy are receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. The Holy Father arrived shortly before 10am to observe the operation, speak with medical staff, and greet people waiting their turn to receive a first dose.
The vaccination program at Paul VI is part and parcel of the push Pope Francis has been making to see that vaccine doses are distributed with a view to the safety of the most vulnerable.
Also on the scene were volunteers from the Sant’Egidio community, Caritas Rome, and the Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski — who fell ill with Covid-19 and was hospitalized late last year — and others there to lend a helping hand.
Some 800 people have already received the first dose through the Vatican program, among them more than 100 residents of the homeless shelter operated by he Missionaries of Charity, and residents of other shelters in the city.
Cardinal Krajewski has seen to the creation of a dedicated webpage through the Office of Papal Charities, which makes it possible to sponsor a needy person’s vaccination.