January 4th – France has accelerated the process of coronavirus vaccination, and Health Minister Olivier Wellin asked for the immediate vaccination of freelance medical staff over 50 years old.
According to French BFM TV, Martin Hirsch, Director-General of the Paris Public Hospital Group, confirmed that the vaccination of medical staff will begin on the 4th, and the Paris Main Palace Hospital has started the process on the 2nd.
Aurelian Rousseau, Director-General of Health Institutions of the Paris Region, said on the 3rd that by the end of January, 1 million people could be vaccinated in Paris.
Gabriel Attar, a French government spokesman, also confirmed that the vaccination speed will be accelerated. The vaccination of medical staff over 50 years old was planned to start in February, but now it will be one month earlier.
Having the same doses of vaccine as its neighboring countries, France chose a different vaccination plan to protect the most vulnerable people first, which necessarily leads to a gradual vaccination, but this cannot be a reason for unnecessary delay.
The UK has now chosen to postpone the second dose until 12 weeks after the first dose in order to quickly provide protection for as many people as possible, but France still chooses to administer a second dose three weeks after the first vaccination.
Jean-Baptiste Jebaly, France’s ministerial representative for transportation, said in an interview with BFM TV on the 3rd that the goal is to vaccinate 26 million French people by this summer, and “the president hopes to strike a balance between safety and efficiency.” According to the original plan of the French government, the vaccination target by the summer is 15 million.
Just minutes after Jean-Baptiste Jebaly’s visit, the French Ministry of Health clarified to BFM TV that the target for vaccination by summer is still 15 million, “but by July, we will be able to vaccinate 27 million people.”
French epidemiologist Katherine Hill believes accelerating vaccination is “very good news”. “We must get the vaccine as quickly as possible, and we should not focus on those who refuse to get the vaccine,” she stressed.
Since the launch of the vaccination campaign on December 27, 2020, France has been widely questioned about its “slow start”. French President Macron has also urged that vaccination be promoted as soon as possible.
This slow pace is not in line with the evolution of the epidemic in France and must be changed quickly and vigorously. Macron also hopes that all the doctors responsible for vaccination can be vaccinated as soon as possible to set an example. He described the pandemic crisis as “a war” and believed that France “can and must win this war”.