France to reach 20 million first COVID vaccinations by mid-May: official – fr

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France to reach 20 million first COVID vaccinations by mid-May: official – fr


PARIS (Reuters) – France remains on track to administer a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 20 million people by mid-May, a health ministry official said on Tuesday, a target that would represent nearly a third of the country’s population.

COVID-19 vaccine injections this week are expected to surpass the 3 million level this week from 2.7 million last week, the official added.

France is gradually unwinding its third lockdown and hopes that a resumption of the vaccination campaign will allow it to lift more restrictive measures in the coming months.

As of Monday, more than 16.1 million people in France had received at least one vaccine vaccine, a total representing 24.1% of the population and 30.7% of the adult population.

Almost 6.7 people have received two vaccines, which means that 10% of the population is now fully vaccinated, compared to, for example, 32% in the United States.

The new daily number of COVID-19 infections in France fell to an average of almost two months on Monday, a figure justifying the government’s decision to start easing the country’s third lockdown.

But after dropping for five consecutive days, the number of people hospitalized with the disease rose by 132, a second consecutive increase, to 28,950, a figure that shows the hospital system is still under considerable pressure.

The health ministry official also said there was increased confidence in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had an “important role” to play in France’s vaccination strategy.

Both injections have been linked to extremely rare but potentially fatal blood clotting, which has damaged the confidence of some in the general public.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mark Heinrich)

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