January 22, 2022

France opens Covid-19 jabs for all adults in race against variants, Europe News & Top Stories

PARIS (AFP) – France on Monday (May 31) opened up Covid-19 vaccines to all adults, a week before Germany, as Europe races to avoid another wave of infections caused by new virus variants.

So far, 25.4 million people have received a first shot of a vaccine, representing about 38 per cent of the population and nearly one in two adults.

Until now, people over 50, workers in professions particularly exposed to the virus and younger adults with underlying health problems were given priority.

With the country just beginning to bounce back from a severe third wave of infections, President Emmanuel Macron’s government is keen to quickly expand the vaccine coverage to slow the spread of variants that could spell fresh disaster.

Both France and Germany have over the past week imposed new restrictions on travel from the UK, to curb the spread of the Indian variant blamed for a surge of cases in parts of Britain.

In a severe blow to the French tourism sector, British and other non-EU nationals travelling from the UK to France starting Monday have to provide a “compelling” reason to enter the country.

Germany meanwhile has imposed a two-week quarantine for travellers arriving from the UK.

Declining hesitancy

As the French savour a degree of freedom following the reopening of cafes, restaurants and museums two weeks ago, initially high levels of vaccine hesitancy have begun to subside.

A Cevipof poll conducted in early May showed that 65 per cent of adults planned to get vaccinated, up from 48 percent in February.

“I am fully convinced that we are going to see a lot of people getting vaccinated,” Professor Alain Fischer, the immunologist who heads the government’s vaccination advisory board, said Monday.

The government is hoping that the 76.7 million vaccines that it is expecting to receive in June will help it meet demand.

But with only around 500,000 appointments available each day, many people are forced to travel outside their town or even their region to secure highly-coveted Pfizer or Moderna shots.

AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs, which have struggled to find takers, are only open to those aged 55, after rare cases emerged of deadly blood clots in a very small number of younger people vaccinated.

‘Quiet summer’?

After an initially slow start to its immunisation drive in January, when it was criticised as one of Europe’s laggards, France is aiming to close the gap with its neighbours.

Britain, which has led the vaccine race in Europe, has given more than 39 million people a first shot and 25 million have had a second dose.

Germany, which like France was slow to get off the mark, has also powered up its immunisation drive in recent weeks.

Over 49 million shots of vaccine have been administered in Europe’s most populous country.

That figure is expected to rapidly increase when vaccines are made available to all Germans aged 16 and over from June 7.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also said coronavirus jabs will be offered to children over the age of 12 in the country.

In France, a third month-long lockdown ending April is credited with taming a third wave of infections this spring that flared partly due to the spread of the UK variant.

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care fell to under 3,000 at the weekend, the lowest level since January.

The situation emboldened the government to reopen sidewalk cafes and restaurants after seven months on May 19, along with museums, cinemas, theatres and non-essential shops.

The next stage of the loosening of restrictions comes on June 9, when cafes and restaurants will be allowed serve clients indoors and a nationwide 9:00 pm curfew is pushed back to 11:00 pm.

“If the fall-off continues between now and June 9… we will have a quiet summer,” Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at the Institut Pasteur in Paris told the Journal du Dimanche weekly.

So far the coronavirus has claimed 109,431 lives in France.

in World
Related Posts

US nominee for top East Asia diplomat role vows closer Taiwan ties but no new framework with China, United States News & Top Stories

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The nominee to be the top US diplomat for East Asia promised on Tuesday (June 15) that...

Police shoot driver who struck cyclists at Arizona bike race, United States News & Top Stories

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

SHOW LOW, ARIZONA (NYTIMES) – The driver of a pickup truck hit a group of cyclists at a bicycle race...

Only quick shift to ‘net zero’ emissions will boost GDP: Report, World News & Top Stories

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) – Cutting planet-warming emissions to “net zero” by 2050 could lift growth and employment but would require an...

Facebook suspends Trump for two years, shifts rules for world leaders, United States News & Top Stories

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) – Facebook Inc on Friday (June 4) suspended former US President Donald Trump until at least January 2023...

Biden has a Brexit warning for Britain: Don’t imperil Northern Ireland peace, Europe News & Top Stories

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND (REUTERS) – United States President Joe Biden will bring a grave Brexit warning to his first meeting...

One million Covid-19 vaccine doses from US due in Malaysia on Monday, United States News & Top Stories

July 3, 2021

July 3, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – One million donated doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc’s and BioNTech will arrive in...

Billionaire Richard Branson aims to make space trip on July 11, ahead of Jeff Bezos, United States News & Top Stories

July 2, 2021

July 2, 2021

SEATTLE (REUTERS) – Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson will travel to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc’s test...

Biden hosts Israeli president ahead of Bennett visit, United States News & Top Stories

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Joe Biden on Monday (June 28) reassured Israel’s president, ahead of a visit by new Prime...

Warren Buffett resigns from Gates Foundation, has donated half his fortune, World News & Top Stories

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

NEBRASKA (REUTERS) – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he is resigning as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates...

Britain approves J&J Covid-19 vaccine, cuts order, Europe News & Top Stories

May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021

LONDON (REUTERS) – Britain’s medicine regulator on Friday (May 28) approved Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Covid-19 vaccine for use, with...

Covid-19 Delta variant gaining traction in France, Europe News & Top Stories

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

PARIS (REUTERS) – The Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus first found in India now represents some 20 per cent...

Pentagon says US air strikes in Iraq, Syria targeted Iran-backed militia groups, United States News & Top Stories

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Pentagon announced Sunday (June 27) it had conducted targeted air strikes against “facilities used by Iran-backed...

Europeans, US warn Iran nuclear talks won’t be open-ended, Middle East News & Top Stories

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

VIENNA/DUBAI (REUTERS) – Western officials warned Teheran on Sunday (June 20) that negotiations to revive its nuclear deal could not...

US CDC director urges teens to get vaccinated against Covid-19 after hospitalisations rise, United States News & Top Stories

June 5, 2021

June 5, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director urged teenagers to get vaccinated, as new data...

Johnson to convene London summit as capital lags on Covid-19 vaccines, Europe News & Top Stories

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s administration will convene a London summit to help tackle the lagging Covid-19 vaccination...