Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Pope Francis on Wednesday urged unvaccinated people worldwide to get inoculated against COVID-19, saying that receiving the vaccine is an act of love and the quickest way to end the pandemic.
In a video message, the pope praised the work of researchers and scientists in producing safe and effective vaccines.
The pontiff said receiving the shot is the easiest and most direct way to put an end to the coronavirus crisis, which has been going for more than a year and a half.
"Vaccination is a simple but profound way of promoting the common good and caring for each other, especially the most vulnerable," he says in the video.
"I pray to God that everyone may contribute their own small grain of sand, their own small gesture of love."
Francis spoke in Spanish with English subtitles while other church officials from several countries also appeared in the video and said getting vaccinated is a moral responsibility.
"Thanks to God's grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19," Francis said in the three-minute video posted Wednesday.
"They bring hope to end the pandemic, but only if they are available to all and we collaborate with one another."