France adjusts its vaccine strategy to accelerate deployment – POLITICO

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PARIS – French Health Minister Olivier Véran on Tuesday morning announced sudden changes in France’s vaccination strategy, responding to criticism of the campaign’s slow start.
More people will be eligible for vaccination with immediate effect, and procedures will be expanded and simplified, the health minister said on RTL.

Home carers and firefighters over the age of 50 are now eligible for shooting. As the effort intensifies in the coming weeks, Véran also pledged that vaccination of people over the age of 75 living at home would begin by the end of January.

Last week, Véran had already announced that healthcare workers over the age of 50 would be allowed to be vaccinated, when they were initially scheduled for the second phase of France’s five-phase plan.

The first phase, which targeted the elderly in nursing homes, was slowed down by the Ministry of Health’s requirement that establishments communicate the number of patients wishing to be vaccinated before sending them the doses, to avoid the waste. The paperwork around consent and required medical appointments before vaccination also caused friction.

Véran defends the slowness of the deployment since its launch. “It was an initial phase of vaccination, which we knew would not be massive,” he repeated Tuesday.

But France’s vaccination total is in the order of a few thousand, as of Monday evening, a figure that pales compared to other European countries.

“The vaccination rate will join that of our neighbors in the coming days,” promised Véran, who said that 100 hospitals would be equipped by Wednesday, against 27 on Monday, with 100 other vaccination centers open outside hospitals throughout. throughout the week.

From Tuesday, France will communicate daily on the number of people vaccinated.

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