FRANCE has sped up its rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations after bureaucracy and widespread vaccine skepticism caused a slow start to the project.
On Monday (January 4th), the country’s health minister Olivier Veran said “We have decided to accelerate the campaign by widening the target group to health staff without waiting to complete the vaccination campaign in retirement homes”.
During the first week of France’s vaccine rollout, only 514 people were given the jab in a campaign focused on nursing home residents. Veran now claims that thousands of frontline hospital workers have been vaccinated.
France’s slow start in contrast to its European neighbours such as Britain and Germany has reportedly angered Emmanuel Macron, with an Elysse official saying that the President wants to “put pressure on the system” to rapidly roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine across the country.
Although coronavirus has killed more than 65,000 people in France, a recently released survey revealed that one in every ten French citizens intend to refuse vaccination. The country is a world leader in vaccine skepticism, despite having the planet’s seventh-highest pandemic death toll.
Arnoud Fontenet, a government health advisor, told France Info Radio that it would be “useful” to simplify the bureaucracy involved in the vaccination roll-out, claiming that “the real deadline is to reach 5-10 million (vaccinations) by the end of March because that’s the point at which you have a real impact on the spread of the virus.”
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