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Pope Francis: vaccines are our friend

by Donna Birrell

Pope Francis has spoken out in support of vaccines at the end of his four day visit to Hungary and Slovakia.

On the papal flight from Bratislava to Rome, he answered questions from journalists, one of whom asked him his thoughts on why the issue of vaccinations has divided Christians in Slovakia.

Bohumil Petrik from the Dennik Standard asked the Pontiff how it was possible to reconcile differing attitudes on the subject.

Pope Francis replied that there were even cardinals in the Vatican who had been undecided about being vaccinated against Coronavirus:

"It is a bit strange because humanity has a history of friendship with vaccines: measles, polio... perhaps this agitation is due to uncertainty, not only regarding the pandemic. There is the diversity of the vaccines and also the reputation of some vaccines that they are a little more than distilled water, and this has created fear.

"There are others who say they are dangerous because they claim that the vaccine introduces the virus into one's system. Even in the college of cardinals there are some 'deniers,' and one of them, poor man, is in hospital with the virus. It's an irony of life. 

"I can't explain it well, some say it's because vaccines are not sufficiently tested. It must be quite clear: everyone in the Vatican is vaccinated except for a small group that is being assisted."

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