Pope Francis urges coronavirus vaccine access for all

Pope urges coronavirus vaccine access for all
Pandemic restrictions meant the Christmas Day message was not delivered to crowds in St Peter's Square. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: In a Christmas Day address, Pope Francis has called on world leaders to ensure unfettered access to Covid-19 vaccines for everyone.

He delivered Christmas Day address online for the first time, the Pope warned against putting up “walls” to treatments.

The coronavirus pandemic meant this year the annual Urbi et Orbi message was not presented from the balcony at St Peter’s Basilica to huge crowds, as is tradition.

Instead, the pontiff spoke from a lectern in a chamber inside the Vatican.

Christmas celebrations this year have seen and unprecedented boundaries as curfews, quarantines and even border closings complicated celebrations.

His’ warning comes amid concerns that rich nations are buying up disproportionate doses of coronavirus vaccines to the detriment of poorer ones.

Pope Francis said: “May the Son of God renew in political and government leaders a spirit of international cooperation, starting with health care, so that all will be ensured access to vaccines and treatment.”

The Pope said the impacts of the global health crisis showed the need for global unity was greater than ever.

The Pope called for generosity and support to victims of the Covid pandemic, singling out women suffering domestic violence during lockdown.

Turning to other troubles in the world, the Pope called for peace and reconciliation in Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, Cameroon and Iraq.

He is due to visit Iraq in March next year in what would be the first such trip to the war-torn country by a Pope.

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