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France criticised for slow start to Covid-19 vaccinations


#Issued on: #Modified:

The #French government on #Wednesday faced criticism over the slow progress of its drive to vaccinate people against #Covid-19, a problem compounded by the high levels of public scepticism about the campaign.

#France on #Sunday joined several other EU countries in launching vaccinations with the #Pfizer-BioNTech jab, focussing its initial efforts on elderly residents of care homes.

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#But in the first three days of the campaign less than 100 people have been given the jab — compared to 42,000 so far in #Germany  — raising questions over the government’s cautious approach to vaccinating a largely sceptical population.

#France’s strategy “is not suited to a situation that is so dangerous,” #Axel #Kahn, a prominent geneticist who leads the #National #League against #Cancer told #Europe 1 radio.

#Kahn said the government should seek to persuade people who are hesitating to be inoculated with “transparency and enthusiasm”.

“#We need to protect the #French people and those who are vulnerable.”

#He also called for health workers to be moved to the top of the queue for the jab, over the elderly.

#Britain, which began vaccinations with the #Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine three weeks ahead of the EU, has already vaccinated hundreds of thousands of people, while over a million have received a jab in the #United #States.

#Philippe #Juvin, emergency services chief at #Georges #Pompidou hospital in #Paris, said that there appeared to be no national “vaccine strategy” in #France.

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“#As an individual, I would like to be vaccinated, to set an example, and show people that we don’t die from the vaccine, we die from #Covid. #And when we don’t die, we get severe forms which are very disabling,” he told CNews TV channel.

‘#Takes time’

A poll on vaccine consent conducted by #Ipsos #Global #Advisor in partnership with the #World #Economic #Forum showed the hurdles faced by the government to achieve mass immunity.

#It showed that just 40 percent of the #French want to receive the vaccine.

#This puts #France well behind other developed nations like #Britain on 77 percent and the #United #States on 69 percent.

#Speaking on #France 2 television late #Tuesday, #Health #Minister #Olivier #Veran defended the more measured pace in #France, saying that officials were taking time to win people over to the idea of being vaccinated.

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“#It takes a little more time to get going,” he said, adding he expected to catch up on the rest of the world by the end of #January.

#Rebuffing criticism on social media, a health ministry official said: “#We have not set out for a 100-metre sprint but a marathon.”

#In tweets on #Sunday welcoming the vaccine rollout, #President #Emmanuel #Macron had alluded to the widespread vaccine scepticism in #France.

#He said “reason and science must guide us” in the homeland of #Louis #Pasteur, the 19th-century scientist who discovered the principles of vaccination.

“The vaccine is not obligatory. #Have confidence in our scientists and doctors,” said #Macron.

(AFP)



[ source link ]
https://www.france24.com/en/france/20201230-france-criticised-for-slow-start-to-covid-19-vaccinations

##France #criticised #slow #start ##Covid19 #vaccinations

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