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HEALTH

France expands ‘vulnerable’ groups who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine from Monday

France has expanded the groups eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination from Monday as the government said it was on target to have 1 million people vaccinated by the end of the month.

France expands 'vulnerable' groups who are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine from Monday
Under-75s in high risk groups can sign up for the Covid)19 injection from Monday. Photo: AFP

The rollout of the vaccine in France is done in a strict order of priority, with those most vulnerable to developing severe forms of the virus going first.

Vaccination continues of residents and staff in Ehpad nursing homes, and health workers aged over 50.

From Monday, January 18th, over 75s can start being vaccinated, but on Thursday Health Minister Oliver Véran announced that anyone in a high risk group – such as those with serious health conditions – could also be vaccinated from Monday.

The government has been severely criticised for the slow start to its vaccine campaign, but this has picked up in recent days and 247,167 people have now received the first dose of the vaccine, and the government saying it is on course to have 1 million people vaccinated by the end of the month.

In total 6.4 million people will be eligible to be vaccinated from Monday, including an estimated 800,000 under 75s with severe health conditions including kidney failure, cancer or transplant patients.

Over 75s can make an appointment directly with a vaccine centre, but people under 75 will need to visit their doctor first to get a prescription for the vaccine.

People can book online at sante.fr, via the medical app Doctolib or by phone on 0800 009 110.

For full details on how to make an appointment, CLICK HERE.

Graphic: Health Ministry

Booking opened on Thursday for appointments from January 18th, although the sante.fr site almost immediately crashed. Véran said it has received 8,000 connections per second in the morning, but has now been reinforced and will be up and running by 8am on Friday, along with the phone line.

The next group to be called to be vaccinated will be the 65-74 age group and this will happen in February, although no exact date was given.

Véran defended the strategy of prioritising the most vulnerable, saying that it wasn't possible to vaccinate everyone at the same time and that people would have to “be patient”.

France has historically high levels of vaccine scepticism, but polls in recent days show the number of people who say they intend to be vaccinated is rising and now stands at around 47 percent, up from 38 percent the previous week.

READ ALSO ANALYSIS How worried should France be about its vaccine sceptics?

 

Member comments

  1. The web site did not open the 14th, it did open on the 15th but not for over 75’s! All the publicity was just a smoke screen to deflect criticism.

  2. The Doctolib site would not take bookings this morning. Sante.fr eventually came up with a list of all the vaccination centres in France and by calling I eventually got an appointment in 24 days time just 45 kms drive from home. I wonder how anyone of my age (83) who is not computer literate, has no private transport, and speaks poor French might be faring?

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HEALTH

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

After the seismic decision of the US Supreme Court on Friday, French MPs are calling for the right to abortion in France to be protected by the constitution.

French lawmakers push for abortion rights to be enshrined in constitution

Lawmakers from French President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party are to propose a parliamentary bill on Saturday that would enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. 

The move comes after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 “Roe v. Wade” decision on Friday.

“In France we guarantee and advance the rights of women. We protect them,” said Aurore Bergé – the head of Renaissance in the Assemblée nationale and one of the key sponsors of the bill. 

Another co-sponsor, Marie-Pierre Rixain tweeted: “What happens in elsewhere cannot happen in France. We must protect the right to abortion for future generations. 

In 2018 and 2019, Emmanuel Macron’s party – which back then was known as La République en Marche – refused to back bills proposed by left-wing party, La France Insoumise, to enshrine abortion rights into the constitution. 

In a Saturday interview with France Inter, Bergé suggested that the success of Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National during parliamentary elections earlier this month had created a sense of newfound urgency. 

She described the far-right MPs as “fierce opponents of women’s access to abortion” and said it was important “to take no risk” in securing it. 

READ MORE France’s Macron condemns US abortion ruling

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has come out in support of the bill. 

The left-wing opposition block, NUPES, also backs it and had planned to propose an identical piece legislation of its own on Monday. 

Macron is seeking parliamentary allies to pass reforms after his formation lost its majority in legislative elections earlier this month.

The legal timeframe to terminate a pregnancy in France was extended from 12 to 14 weeks in the last legislature.

Changing the constitution requires the National Assembly and Senate to adopt the same text, then a three-fifths majority of parliament sitting in congress. The other option is a referendum.

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