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France promises to speed up COVID-19 vaccination process after outcry

After barely 500 people in France were vaccinated in the first six days, Health Minister Olivier Veran defended the government's strategy of giving the vaccines first to residents of nursing homes

twitter-logoPTI | January 5, 2021 | Updated 16:38 IST
France promises to speed up COVID-19 vaccination process after outcry
Barely 500 people in France were vaccinated in the first six days

Amid public outcry, Frances health minister has promised an "exponential" acceleration of his country's slow coronavirus vaccination process. After barely 500 people in France were vaccinated in the first six days, Health Minister Olivier Veran defended the government's strategy of giving the vaccines first to residents of nursing homes. But he vowed Tuesday to simplify a bureaucratic consent process blamed in part for Frances lagging vaccinations.

Veran said the government will expand the number of vaccination centres and categories of people eligible for early vaccines, and allow people to sign up for vaccinations on an app or by phone.

The growth of vaccinations in the coming days "will be exponential, rest assured," he said on RTL radio. But he insisted that the government would not forego safety guidelines in a country facing broad vaccine scepticism.

While neighbouring countries are imposing strict new lockdowns amid surging infections, Veran said France is weighing its options and "cannot relax," but announced no new measures.

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said on Europe-1 radio that he doesn't want to "deprive children of school."

Veran said France has confirmed 10 or 15 cases of the new, more contagious virus variant identified in Britain, and that overall French infections and hospital rates are currently at a plateau.

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