Coronavirus: Pope Francis encourages people to get vaccinated

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says that getting a COVID-19 vaccination is “an act of love” in a public service ad that will begin circulating on Wednesday.

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The pontiff, working with the nonprofit Ad Council, cut the PSA in its first international campaign urging inoculations, The New York Times reported.

Francis speaks in Spanish, and the video contains English subtitles. Church officials from the United States, Mexico, Brazil and other nations also assert that receiving a vaccination is a moral responsibility, the newspaper reported.

“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” the pope says in the ad. “They bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and if we collaborate with one another.

“Getting the vaccines that are authorized by the respective authorities is an act of love. And helping the majority of people to do so is an act of love,” adds Francis, who was vaccinated this year. “Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”

The Ad Council said the ad would be aired on Telemundo, Universo and WarnerMedia platforms, along with media in Spanish-speaking nations, the Times reported.

The Ad Council had a similar crusade during the 1950s, urging citizens to get vaccinated against polio, according to the newspaper.

“We’ve said all along that the messenger can be as or more important than the actual message itself,” Lisa Sherman, the chief executive of the Ad Council, told the Times.

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