A health ministry official said on Tuesday that France remains on track to administer a first coronavirus vaccine shot to 20 million people by mid-May, a target that would amount to around a third of the country’s population.
This week’s coronavirus vaccine injections are slated to top the 3 million level this week versus 2.7 million last week, the official added.
France is gradually easing its third lockdown and is hoping an uptick of the vaccination campaign will allow it to lift more restrictive measures in the next months.
As of Monday, over 16.1 million people in France had received at least one vaccine jab, a total representing 24.1% of the population and 30.7% of the adult population.
Nearly 6.7 people had received 2 doses, meaning 10% of the population is now fully inoculated, versus, for instance, 32% in the United States.
France’s new daily number of coronavirus infections dropped to an almost 2-month low on average on Monday, a figure warranting the government’s decision to start unwinding the country’s third lockdown.
But after falling for 5 days in a row, the number of people hospitalized for the virus went up by 132, a second consecutive rise, at 28,950, a tally that shows the hospital system is still under significant strain.
The health ministry official also noted that there was growing confidence in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and that the Johnson & Johnson jab had an “important role” to play in France’s inoculation strategy.