French health ministry to speed up Covid-19 vaccination campaign

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Caregivers aged 50 and over wishing to be vaccinated will be able to access treatment from Monday next, Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced. The government has been subjected to growing criticism over the slow pace of the vaccination drive in France.

In his New Year's address on Thursday, French president Emmanuel Macron vowed to avoid "unjustifiable delays" in efforts to immunise citizens against Covid-19. This follows criticism of the slow pace of the inoculation campaign.

"The vaccination campaign will soon be expanded," promised Health Minister Olivier Véran.

"From Monday, health workers aged 50 and over who wish to do so will be able to be vaccinated in centres that already have vaccines," in order to "speed up the protection of priority groups," Véran announced on Twitter.

On Tuesday evening on France 2 TV, the minister stated that the vaccine would be available by the end of January for "health professionals aged 50 and over".

Vaccination centres

The first public centres will be set up before February to start vaccinating people aged 75 and over, then those aged 65 and over.

All French "volunteers" to be vaccinated "must be able to access treatment without waiting three or even four months," Professor Djillali Annane, head of the intensive care unit at the Raymond Poincaré hospital in Garches, also pleaded on Friday on the franceinfo news channel.

A recent poll on vaccine consent conducted by Ipsos Global Advisor showed that just 40 percent of the French wanted to receive the vaccine.