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Pope Francis calls opposition to vaccine 'suicidal denial' and confirms he's booked in for the jab

by Chantalle Edmunds

Pope Francis has confirmed, during an interview with an Italian television channel, that he has an appointment to receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

The Head of the Catholic Church told TG5 that the Vatican's vaccine rollout would commence next week.

In the interview, which will air Sunday evening, the Pope, who's 84, said he believed ethically everyone should accept a vaccine:

"It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the life of others."

He added that people who refused to take the vaccine when it was known to be safe possessed "suicidal denial".

Shortly before Christmas, the Vatican urged Catholics to get vaccinated against coronavirus. There's been concern among Catholics about the vaccine due to cells from decades-old aborted foetuses being used by some researchers working on Covid-19 vaccines.

But in a statement released in December, the Church said it's morally acceptable to take the vaccine and doing so doesn't amount to co-operation with abortion.

"All vaccinations recognised as clinically safe and effective can be used in good conscience with the certain knowledge that the use of such vaccines does not constitute formal co-operation with the abortion from which the cells used in production of the vaccines derive," the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced.

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