Both Pope Francis and his predecessor, former Pope Benedict XVI, have received the coronavirus vaccine, the Vatican confirmed on Thursday. 

"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," spokesman Matteo Bruni said. 


It had already been reported that Pope Francis had received the jab on Wednesday January 13, the first day of the Vatican's vaccination drive, but officials declined to confirm the news.

 

The Vatican News portal said 93-year-old Benedict was given a dose on Thursday morning. The former pontiff, who stepped down in 2013 and now lives in a converted monastery in the Vatican gardens, is increasingly frail.

 

In an interview broadcast at the weekend, Francis urged people to get the vaccine.