If you love thy neighbor, you’ll get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Pope Francis.
In association with the non-profit Ad Council, the pontiff tells his followers, “Getting the vaccines that are authorized by the respective authorities is an act of love.”
The three-minute PSA features Pope Francis, 84, speaking to the camera in Spanish with English subtitles, as well as brief messages from a number of church leaders in Spanish-speaking countries, including Archbishop Jose Gomez from the US, Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes from Mexico.
“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,” says Pope Francis, who got the jab earlier this year along with his predecessor former Pope Benedict XVI. “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,” he continues. “Getting vaccinated is a simple yet profound way to care for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”
The COVID Collaborative ad will be seen by viewers of Telemundo, Universo and WarnerMedia platforms, and via media outlets throughout other Spanish-speaking countries, the Ad Council reported.
The campaign is an effort to garner confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine among Catholic Hispanic Americans, whose inoculation rate jumped from 56% to 80% in June — on par with that of white Catholic Americans (79%) and above other Christian denominations (77%), according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
Compare that to Hispanic and white Evangelical Protestants, whose vaccine acceptance rate has only reached 56% despite months-worth of evidence that the shot is safe and successfully staves off severe COVID-19. “Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19,”
Meanwhile, a Pew Research Center survey published in March found that Atheists were most amenable to the vaccine as 90% of areligious respondents said that they would “definitely” or “probably” seek the shot.