VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Pope Francis’ personal doctor, Fabrizio Soccorsi, has died of complications due to COVID-19 on Saturday, a day before the pontiff announced he will receive the vaccine this week.

Soccorsi, 78, was being treated for cancer on Dec. 26 at the Roman hospital Agostino Gemelli when he contracted COVID-19, according to a report by the Vatican Newspaper L’Osservatore Romano published Saturday (Jan. 9).

In an interview with the Italian news channel Tg5 that aired on Sunday (Jan. 10), Francis announced that he will be taking the vaccine for COVID-19 next week.

The Vatican has made the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for its citizens, and the pope said he didn’t hesitate to put his name on the list.

“I believe that ethically everyone must

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