Pope Francis calls on countries to share Covid-19 vaccines in Christmas message

Pope Francis delivers the "Urbi et Orbi" Christmas day blessing at St. Peter's Basilica.

Rome (CNN)Pope Francis used his Christmas message to say that coronavirus vaccines must be available for all, and pleaded with states to cooperate in the race to emerge from the pandemic.

"Today, in this time of darkness and uncertainty during the pandemic, different lights of hope appear, like the discovery of the vaccines ... they must be available to everyone," the Pope said Friday during his traditional Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message at the Vatican.
"I beg all those in charge of states, of companies, of international bodies ... to promote cooperation and not competition and to seek a solution for everyone, vaccines for all, especially for the most vulnerable and needy in all regions of the globe."
    Pope Francis called for "generosity and support," particularly towards those experiencing unemployment, hardship and domestic violence during the pandemic.
      He spoke from the Vatican Apostolic Palace -- as opposed to his balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square, where he traditionally issues the address from.
      The leader of the Catholic Church also used the Christmas Day message to call for an end to conflicts throughout the Middle East and Africa, as well as an easing of suffering across the American continent.
      Francis prepares to kiss a figurine of baby Jesus during a Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter's basilica in the Vatican.