| 4 December 2023, Monday |

Vaccine pass better than a mandatory order, says French govt spokesman

According to government spokesperson Gabriel Attal, a required order would not be the most effective method to urge individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to get the injection, and that measures to toughen health pass criteria were already yielding results.

In France, people must already provide proof of vaccination or a negative test to access restaurants and pubs, as well as ride interregional trains. However, with the rise in Omicron infections, government is contemplating legislation that would eliminate the test option.

President Emmanuel Macron declared this week that he intended to upset the unvaccinated by making life unpleasant for them so that they would obtain the COVID-19 vaccine.

Four in every ten unvaccinated people had not been inoculated against the coronavirus because of difficulties accessing the relevant health services, France’s National Institute of Health & Medical Research (Inserm) said this week.

“We stand by the decision to put pressure on the non-vaccinated,” Attal told BFM TV on Sunday.

France recorded more than 300,000 new coronavirus infections for the second time in a week on Friday. Hospitalizations, including COVID-19 patients in intensive care (ICU), are rising steadily, putting the healthcare system under strain.

Attal said nearly 10 million COVID-19 tests had been carried out in the past week and that the government would make more health workers available to conduct them. But laboratories warned that the testing rate could be unsustainable.

“We can’t keep testing (these numbers),” Lionel Barrand, president of the Syndicat National Les Biologistes Médicaux told BFM TV.

  • Reuters