France becomes one of most vaccinated countries after Covid gamble

France becomes one of most vaccinated countries after Covid gamble
Macron adjusts his face mask during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on September 6. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: France becomes one of the world’s most vaccinated countries after the country’s Covid gamble is beginning to pay off.

In spite of a slow start to its vaccination rollout earlier this year, France finally got its program up and running in the spring. The slow start of vaccination was fueled by blood clot concerns and supply-chain issues that culminated in a bruising public battle with AstraZeneca over delivery shortfalls. By May this year, France reached its goal of partially vaccinating 20 million people — 30% of its population. But the vaccination programme then quickly started to hit a wall.

In July, when the country’s France’s vaccination rate stagnating and Covid-19 cases surging, French President Emmanuel Macron imposed sweeping vaccination requirements for much of daily life.

As of August 1, anyone without a “health pass” showing proof of a recent negative test or their vaccination status, wouldn’t be able to enter cafes and bars, or travel long distances by train, President Macron said.

Health care staff workers who are not vaccinated by Wednesday, face being fired or suspended without pay. France has roughly 2.7 million people in this sector.

Macron government’s move was a calculated risk in a country where a distrust of government has manifested in vaccine hesitancy and a deep cultural belief in individual liberties.

Despite some early opposition and hesitancy, Macron’s risk looks to be reaping significant rewards as France is seemingly winning in getting its people vaccinated.

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