Pope Francis has made an urgent appeal to people to get inoculated against COVID-19, saying the vaccines could bring an end to the pandemic.
The pontiff made the personal appeal in a filmed public service message that was released online and on television on Wednesday, August 18.
“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19,” Pope Francis said in the message, which he made on behalf of the U.S.-based nonprofit group the Ad Council.
He said the vaccines “bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.”
The pontiff added that getting vaccinated “is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”
Church officials in North and South America also appeared in the three-minute message, including Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of the United States, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico, and Cardinal Carlos Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras.
This comes after medical experts warned that more dangerous variants might develop if the virus is allowed to circulate in large pools of non-vaccinated people.