France extends vaccination deployment to firefighters and aid workers

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PARIS (January 5): France is expanding the deployment of COVID-19 vaccination to firefighters and aid workers over the age of 50 after slowly starting its vaccination campaign, Health Minister Olivier said on Tuesday Veran.
“We will scale up, speed up and simplify our vaccination strategy,” Veran told RTL radio, adding that 300 vaccination centers would be operational as of next week.

France ramped up its COVID-19 vaccination of hospital medical staff on Monday after being criticized for a slow start in one of the world’s most vaccine-skeptical countries.

France delivered just 516 COVID-19 inoculations in the first week of a campaign focused on residents of nursing homes.

The slow start compared to European neighbors such as Britain and Germany angered President Emmanuel Macron, who met with his Prime Minister and Minister of Health on Monday evening to discuss how to speed up the deployment vaccine.

Veran also told RTL that by the end of January, France would allow vaccination for people aged 75 and over living at home.

“We are also going to speed up vaccine orders at European level to step up the pace of delivery for France. Today, we have a delivery rate of 500,000 doses per week for the Pfizer vaccine. Soon, if it is validated on Wednesday by the European medical watchdog, we will have 500,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine per month ”, he said.

Veran said there were around 10 to 15 possible cases in France of the new British variant of the coronavirus.

The high overall level of coronavirus infections in France has also made the easing of restrictions related to COVID-19 unlikely.

Restaurants, bars, museums and cinemas remain closed and are not expected to reopen on January 20 as originally planned.

Prime Minister Jean Castex will speak about their situation at a press conference on Thursday, Veran said.

The total number of cases in France now stands at 2,659,750, the fifth in the world. The death toll from COVID-19 is 65,415, the seventh highest in the world.

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