Apr 4, 2021 - Health

Pope Francis urges vaccine distribution to poor countries in Easter message

Pope Francis speaks while standing behind a podium, several tall candles stand behind him

Pope Francis delivers his traditional Easter message in Vatican City, Vatican on April 4. Photo: Vatican Pool/Getty Images

Pope Francis, while giving his Easter Sunday message, urged the international community to overcome delays in vaccine shipments, "especially in the poorest countries."

Why it matters: The global COVAX vaccine initiative, backed by the United Nations as a way to get vaccines to poorer countries, warned of supply delays in late March that would affect millions of doses.

What he's saying: "Everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, requires assistance and has the right to have access to necessary care. This is even more evident in these times when all of us are called to combat the pandemic," the pope said.

  • "Vaccines are an essential tool in this fight. I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries."
Go deeper