French government warns of the dangers of 'vaccine apartheid'

·2-min read

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal has said that there is a danger of a rift between those French people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and the others. "At all costs," says Attal, "let us stick together."

Speaking on French radio on Sunday morning, Attal called on the French to show up in huge numbers at vaccination centres.

"We have to be careful not to let a 'vaccination rift' develop in France," the government spokesman said.

"We have to avoid a situation where the epidemic gets going again because of the people who haven't been vaccinated. That could mean closures and restrictions for everyone, even the people who have made the effort to get inoculated.

"We can already see hints of that rift," Attal continued. "At all costs, we have to stick together.

"Roughly speaking, we are in the same position as in July and August last year, but there are certainly good reasons to be worried about the delta variant."

Vaccination to be made an obligation?

Prime Minister Jean Castex is to meet the parliamentary leaders on Monday to discuss the question of obligatory vaccination for health and care workers.

One hundred doctors have written an open letter to the French government leader in a weekly newspaper, calling for the obligatory vaccination of all hospital and nursing-home staff "before the beginning of September".

According to Gabriel Attal, the question of mandatory vaccination for the wider population is not being considered.

"We are working on nurses and medical staff. They are the current priority."

Health Minister Olivier Véran has already said that compulsory vaccination will never be imposed on the general population.

President Emmanuel Macron is to speak to the nation "in the near future, according to Gabriel Attal, who gave no details of either the format or likely content of the French leader's address..