Fake news: Pope Francis never discouraged Africans to receive vaccine

On the contrary, the pope has been calling for poorer nations be given fair access to this tool for fighting the pandemic.

A viral message attributed to Pope Francis and identified by AFP has been circulating on social networks since the end of March 2021, after having appeared for the first time in April 2020.

In the supposed message, the pontiff forbids the use of anti-Covid vaccines from Europe and North America to Catholics living in Africa. “Dear believers of the Catholic Church, never use these vaccines [against Covid-19] that are going to be sent to Africa” because “something is not quite right (…) you are inventing something to exterminate people with whom you have never declared war,” claim these notes, written with an unsophisticated style that does not fit the usual tone of Pope Francis.

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