The latest figures from the French government (August 24) show 47.7 million people vaccinated with a first vaccine, compared to 47.8 million for the latest figures from the United Kingdom (August 25).
Meanwhile, France has slightly overtaken the UK on “complete” vaccinations, which now stand at 42,086,348; according to statistics site covidtracker.com, compared to the 42,072,712 posted on the UK government website.
The large number intervenes despite the number of injections having slowed down in the week of August 9 (3.1 million against 3.5 million the previous week).
But now the government has declared that the 50 million target will be reached before September, due to a “rebound effect” seen before the imminent start of the school year (back to school).
At a recent press conference, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said: “[The decrease] It was a slight drop, shortness of breath, but not a complete collapse, because there are still a very large number of people who want to be vaccinated.
The ministry said the country was on the right track, despite “around 100,000 appointments for the first injections each day, up from 150,000 earlier this month.”
The continuation of the injections comes after President Emmanuel Macron announced the rules for extending the health pass and said vaccination would be mandatory for people in 70 healthcare professions.
The ministry said a small bounce was all that was needed to reach the $ 50 million goal on time.
The spokesperson added: “Reaching 86% of over 12s is a very ambitious goal, and a collective challenge, but it is achievable. We have the doses, we have the slots, and we have the demand which, despite a little slowing down, remains high. ”
Percentages of the population
The figures mean France has managed to catch up with its European neighbors, despite strong criticism it received for its slow rollout of vaccines at the start of the campaign.
At the beginning of May, France had reached only 24% of people with a first injection, against the United Kingdom and Israel, which were already approaching at the time 51% and 62% respectively of the first injections.
The independent website Our World In Data shows a slight disparity in government figures claiming that 71% of the entire population in France has now received at least one dose, overtaking the UK (70%) and Israel ( 68%)
France also compares well with its European neighbors and is ahead of Germany (64%) and Italy (69%); and not too far behind Spain (76%) and Portugal (81%).
Globally, France also compares well, with the United States at 61% and Japan at 56%.
The rapid catching up is partly explained by the date on which France opened vaccination to all (in May), and President Macron’s speech on the health pass and mandatory jabs.
The ministry expects early September to “encourage people to move on” and make an appointment; especially young people, 52% of 12-17 year olds having already received at least one dose.
Despite this, the online reservation platform Doctolib now estimates that the bar of 50 million first jabs will now be reached by September 4, against August 29-30 according to its previous estimates.
The Ministry of National Education is preparing to launch two campaigns to encourage young people and their families who may still be reluctant to vaccination, to be proactive.
This will include mobile teams deployed to schools and school trips to vaccination centers with group appointments made.
The government is also stepping up its awareness campaign with the aim of reaching those still “hesitant”, including campaigns in shopping malls, areas with heavy foot traffic and workplaces. From August 27, “large quantities of vaccines” will be sent to these places, confirmed the Ministry of Health.
These additional figures will largely come from increased shipments of the vaccine to Moderna mRNA, which are expected to rise from 670,000 doses delivered in early August to more than 2 million by the end of the month.
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