Both Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI received the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday at the launch of the Vatican's vaccination program.
"I can confirm that as part of the vaccination program of the Vatican City State, as of today, the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to Pope Francis and to the Pope Emeritus," said Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office.
Earlier in the month, Francis argued that vaccination was "an ethical action," calling followers to refuse "gambling with the lives of others."
Some pro-life groups have pushed back on this message, however, pointing out the use of cells from aborted babies used in the development of the Moderna and AstroZeneca vaccines. Others have pointed to the risk for younger individuals, particularly children, arguing that the side effects of the vaccine may pose larger concerns for those demographics over the virus itself.