Pope delivers Christmas message

THE VATICAN (NBC) – Pope Francis used his Christmas Day address to call on countries around the world to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are made available to those most in need of them.

Pope Francis wasn’t appearing on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica this Christmas. The pontiff delivered his traditional message virtually from a lectern inside the Vatican.

The pandemic and its social and economic effects dominated the message stressing that health is an international issue. He appeared to criticize so-called “vaccine nationalism,” which U.N. officials fear will worsen the pandemic if poor nations receive the vaccine last.

Francis called for global unity and help for nations suffering from conflicts and humanitarian crises.

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