THE Vatican Begins Free COVID Vaccinations to Rome’s Homeless Starting Today (January 20)
Under Pope Francis, the Vatican has set up a number of structures to help Rome’s homeless population, including a clinic, bathing facilities and barber and haircutting services and now free vaccinations against COVID-19 can be added to that list.
Last week, both Pope Francis, 84, and ex-Pope Benedict, 93, received their first dose of a vaccine in the atrium of the Paul VI Hall, where twenty-five homeless people in St Peter’s Square have already been vaccinated.
Carlo Santoro of the Community of Sant’Egidio, who for decades has been one of the many workers caring for the homeless in the St Peter’s area and the guests of Palazzo Migliori, explained that many of them were afraid of the injection and the needle, or of the contraindications of the vaccine.
“Even if the importance of this gesture was not immediately clear to everyone,” he reiterated, “for all of them, it will be a liberation, because the only hope to get out of the pandemic is to get vaccinated,” he said.
Led by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Vatican has been providing practical support to the homeless for vaccination since the start of the pandemic, bringing the Pope’s help to the most vulnerable people.
At Christmas time, around 4,000 swabs arrived from Slovakia for the homeless in Rome, while medicines, masks and respirators were donated worldwide. “Other groups will follow in the coming days,” confirmed the director of the Holy See Press Office Matteo Bruni explaining the initiative in a statement.
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