On Thursday, the Vatican moved to explain a decree that seemed to suggest Vatican employees could be fired if they did not get a COVID-19 vaccination — unless the refusal was due to significant health reasons.
The Vatican received criticism on social media for the February 8 order. The decree came from Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, the governor of Vatican City. It reportedly said that “getting a vaccine was ‘the responsible choice’ because of the risk of harming other people,” according to a report from Reuters.
Vatican City is reportedly 108 acres and the world’s smallest state. It has several thousand employees, most of whom live in Italy. Its vaccination program started last month, and Pope Francis, 84, was one of the first people to get vaccinated.
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The decree in question stated that employees who do not get the vaccine because of specific health issues could be given another job, “presumably where they would have contact with fewer people,” but