Pope Francis paid a surprise visit on Friday to homeless and poor people from Rome getting free COVID-19 vaccinations in the Vatican.
Pictures released by the Vatican showed the 84-year-old pontiff greeting doctors, nurses, charity workers and vaccine recipients in a make-shift clinic in the Vatican’s audience hall, largely disused because of the pandemic.
About 800 homeless or needy people have received the free vaccine so far and at least 400 more will get it, the Vatican said.
Francis, who has been vaccinated, as has former Pope Benedict, 93, has said getting a jab is the ethnical choice unless there are serious medical reasons not to.
Under Francis, the Vatican has set up a number of structures to help Rome’s homeless population, including a clinic, bathing facilities, barber and hair cutting services.