The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip the world, the infection continues to claim lives. Multiple COVID-19 vaccines have now become available in most countries. Yet, the majority of the world remains unvaccinated. The lack of equitable distribution of vaccines along with anti-vaccine propaganda stands in the way of mass immunization.

The Vatican has released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) video promoting the COVID-19 vaccines. The video produced by the Vatican and the Ad Council focused on the American nations.

The video features Pope Francis along with six archbishops and cardinals. All the featured members of the church were from North, Central and South American countries, The Daily Herald reported.

The Argentine-born Pope is seen first in the video addressing the viewers. He first points out that by God’s grace the world and the hard work of people, there exists vaccines against the novel coronavirus. He sees the vaccines as a ray of hope that the pandemic can be brought to an end. However, he pointed out that the pandemic can end only if the vaccine is made available to all.

The minute-long video featured Archbishops Jose Gomez from the United States of America and Miguel Cabrejos from Peru. It also featured Cardinals Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico, Claudio Hummes of Brazil, Gregorio Rosa Chavez of El Salvador and Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. They all shared the opinion that members of the Church from North to South America supported vaccination for all. They shared that getting vaccinated is an “act of love” towards all, especially those who are vulnerable to the virus. They stated that getting the jab was a moral responsibility.

Pope Francis had on previous occasions spoken about universal vaccination against COVID-19, The Guardian reported. The Pontiff’s stance has been opposed by conservative members of the church. A vocal critic of Pope Francis is Cardinal Raymond L. Burke who has been skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Burke had called the vaccine morally unjust, linking it to the use of abortion-derived cells for the development of the vaccines. While the Vatican pushed for vaccination of the employees it remained unclear if the opposing cardinal took the shots.

On Aug. 11 Burke announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Days later his press team Tweeted that the cardinal had been hospitalized as his condition had worsened. He had to be put on a ventilator to assist his breathing.

Pope Francis Pope Francis gestures during the welcome ceremony at Palacio Nacional on February 13, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Miguel Tovar/LatinContent/Getty Images