Pope urges political leaders to ensure coronavirus vaccines get to poor nations

Pope urges political leaders to ensure coronavirus vaccines get to poor nations

Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (Credit: Andrew Medichini/AP.)

Pope Francis is urging political leaders make sure coronavirus vaccines are available to the poorest nations.

ROME — Pope Francis is urging political leaders make sure coronavirus vaccines are available to the poorest nations.

He says in many parts of the world, there is a “pharmacological marginalization” of those without access to health care.

Francis met Saturday with members of an Italian aid group that collects donated medicines from pharmaceutical companies and distributes them to clinics and centers helping the neediest.

Francis says far too many people die in parts of the world for lack of drugs widely available elsewhere, and political leaders must take their plight into account.

“I repeat, it would be sad if in distributing the vaccine, priority was given to the wealthiest, or if a vaccine becomes the property of this or that nation and not for everyone,” the pope said.

Francis has previously called for universal access to the vaccine.

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