Religious leaders to have special COVID-19 vaccine site in Italy

Click to play video: 'Pope Francis presides over Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica'
Pope Francis presides over Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica
WATCH ABOVE: Pope Francis presided over Easter Mass on Sunday – Apr 4, 2021

Priests, nuns and other people living in community settings are among the vaccination priority groups permitted under Italy’s revised national rollout.

The country’s Piedmont region is going a step further by opening a special COVID-19 vaccine center just for the leaders of religious communities.

Medical personnel at the Cottolengo hospital complex in Turin are set to administer the vaccine to official representatives of Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, as well as Waldensian and other non-Catholic institutions in Piedmont starting Wednesday.

The shots must be given in accordance with the national plan that requires the general population to be vaccinated in descending order of age, beginning with individuals 80 or older or have grave disabilities, then moving down the rollcall to those in their 70s.

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Click to play video: 'Pope Francis calls wars during COVID-19 pandemic ‘scandalous’ in Easter speech'
Pope Francis calls wars during COVID-19 pandemic ‘scandalous’ in Easter speech

Piedmont Gov. Alberto Cirio has called the vaccination initiative an example of inter-faith fraternity and sharing. Italy’s public health service is providing the vaccines.

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Meanwhile, Christianity’s most joyous feast day was celebrated worldwide with the faithful spaced apart in pews and singing choruses of “Hallelujah” through face coverings on a second Easter Sunday marked by pandemic precautions.

From vast Roman Catholic cathedrals to Protestant churches, worshippers followed regulations on the coronavirus. In some European countries, citizens lined up on Easter for their turn to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the Lombardy region of Italy, where the pandemic first erupted in the West, a hospital gave a traditional dove-shaped Easter cake symbolizing peace to each person waiting to get vaccinated. Many who came were in their 80s.

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