Pope Francis became the latest in the list of high-profile figures to join the global vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus.

In segments from an interview with Canale 5 due to be broadcast in full on Sunday, the pointiff urged people to get themselves vaccinated, and said that he would get inoculated against the virus himself next week, when the Vatican begins its drive.

“There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated,” the pontiff added, as per AFP reports.

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In the UK, where more than 3 million COVID-19 cases have been recorded, the Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip received their COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday. 

According to AFP, a source told the domestic Press Association news agency that the queen, 94, and Philip, 99, were given the injections by a royal household doctor at Windsor Castle.

More than 1.5 million people in Britain have so far been inoculated against COVID-19 jabs, as part of a massive immunisation campaign, with priority given to the elderly, their carers and health workers.

Countries across the globe are following suit, with vaccination drives already in progress or being set up.

Over 1.5 million people have died from the novel coronavirus across the globe so far, with new variants leading to a surge in cases and prompting the re-introduction of restrictions on movement in major cities.