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France should consider mandatory COVID-19 vaccine shots for public in case epidemic worsens: Health body

France should consider mandatory COVID-19 vaccine shots for public in case epidemic worsens: Health body

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker administers a dose of the "Comirnaty" Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination center in Nantes as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign in France, June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS: France should consider whether to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for the general public so that the government can act quickly if the epidemic worsens, the country's health authority said on Friday (Jul 16).

Following a resurgence of the epidemic, the government this week made it mandatory for all health workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but has so far shied away from imposing COVID-19 shots on the general public.

France's HAS health authority said in a statement that the debate should focus on widening mandatory vaccination beyond the current government draft law and consider whether to make vaccination mandatory for all people vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, for professionals who are in contact with the public, and even for the general public.

READ: France restores mask rule in south as COVID-19 cases soar

"The dynamic of the epidemic now calls for a massive increase in vaccine coverage ... notable for the most vulnerable people," HAS said.

France has seen a surge in vaccinations this week after President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that from Jul 21 people will have to provide proof of vaccination, immunity or a recent negative test in order to gain entry to public places such as trains, cinemas and restaurants.

On Wednesday, thousands of people in Paris demonstrated against Macron's plan for a health pass to enter public places.

After falling from more than 42,000 per day in mid-April to less than 2,000 per day in late June, the average number of new infections per day in France has crept up quickly again, standing now at about 5,000 per day.

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Source: Reuters/ga/mi

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