In France, public resistance to the COVID vaccine | Voice of America

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PARIS – As French authorities prepare to roll out their COVID vaccination strategy this week, they face skepticism in a country where surveys show many people do not trust the vaccine.
France was among the countries in Europe that were most affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, as more than 50,000 people died from the virus.

Like the rest of the world, there is great hope that vaccines will defeat the virus and allow people to resume normal lives. The French vaccination campaign should begin at the end of December with the elderly, people living in nursing homes and medical staff who need to receive the first doses.

In an address to the nation, French President Emmanuel Macron said that a scientific committee would oversee the vaccination campaign and that a citizens’ group would be created to ensure that the population participated in the process. Vaccination against COVID-19 must be clear and transparent and information must be shared on what is known and unknown, insists Macron, who stressed that vaccination will not be compulsory in France.

The government fears millions of French people will refuse vaccines against the coronavirus due to growing skepticism in the country. Fifty-nine percent of French people surveyed say they do not get vaccinated, according to an IFO poll released on Sunday.

Prime Minister Jean Castex recently said he feared too few French people would be vaccinated.

Jean Paul Stahl, French infectious disease doctor, said the numbers worried him.

The professor explains that there is a common fear of the side effects of these vaccines.

He said there was also skepticism as people see this vaccine as a tool used by the government. Stahl said that nowadays in our societies more and more people do not trust any authority: political, scientific and others.

France has budgeted more than $ 1.75 billion to buy vaccines next year.

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