PARIS (Reuters) – France is unlikely to return to normal life after the coronavirus until the fall of next year, as it could take longer than initially expected to phase out vaccines, an adviser said on Friday senior government scientist.
“Vaccines are a major source of hope, but if you look at the vaccination capacities that we will have in France and elsewhere in Europe, we will need time,” immunologist Jean-François Delfraissy told BFM television.
“Vaccine production will be slower than expected a fortnight or three weeks ago,” he said. “We won’t face a vaccine shortage but we will have something more spread out over time.
Delfraissy estimated that there were 22 million people in France more vulnerable than others and that it would be necessary to wait until May to vaccinate them all, before the vaccines could be distributed to others.
When asked if this meant the French would continue to face restrictions in their daily lives to fight COVID-19 infections until fall 2021, he replied: “More or less. “
The French could start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in the last week of December if the European Union approves it next week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Wednesday.
France has registered 18,254 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, health director Jerome Salomon said on Thursday, the highest daily tally since November 20. France ranks fifth in the world for cases with more than 2.42 million to date.