French resistance to Covid vaccine grows, with first jabs set for Sunday

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The percentage of people in France who plan to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has continued its downward trend, according to the latest government health survey, with just 40 percent now saying they would likely get the injection.

The CoviPrev survey, carried out by Santé Publique France, shows a 13 percent drop in respondents who "definitely or probably" plan to be vaccinated against the disease, compared to November.

The findings were released just as the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine is being rolled out in France and across Europe, ahead of the first injections on Sunday.

The monthly survey, which is carried out on a population sample of 2,000 people, found that among the 1,194 people who did not wish to be vaccinated, 82 percent said the new vaccines are not safe.

Other arguments against showed people believed other means such as social distancing were sufficient to combat the virus.

The survey also shows the positive results on the efficacy of the vaccine, as well as the tolerance and safety of the first two vaccines in clinical trials, has not helped to convinced the population.

The government health said it was “essential to facilitate access to information on vaccines and vaccination on strategy and safety”.