SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Ex French president Sarkozy, 66, denies claims he ‘skipped the queue’ to get his Covid vaccine

France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been vaccinated against Covid-19, a source close to him confirmed on Friday, rejecting suggestions the 66-year-old ex-leader had skipped the queue.

Ex French president Sarkozy, 66, denies claims he 'skipped the queue' to get his Covid vaccine
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo: AFP

The vaccination campaign in France is currently giving the jab to those aged 75 and over, though medical professionals and people at risk due to medical conditions also qualify.

Sarkozy received the vaccine on the basis of a “medical prescription”, said an aide who asked not to be identified by name.

The medical conditions that qualify under 75s to receive the vaccine at present are only the most serious – including cancer patients and transplant patients, although from next week people aged 50-64 with a condition such as diabetes will be eligible to get the injection from their GP.

READ ALSO When will you be eligible to get the Covid vaccine in France?

 

The aide did not say why Sarkozy had been granted the prescription. The former president “like any citizen, has a right to a private life and medical confidentiality,” the aide said.

Weekly magazine L'Express reported on Thursday that Sarkozy was vaccinated at a military hospital in January, prompting murmurings of discontent over how he had got the jab so fast.

There has been widespread criticism of the slow pace of the vaccine rollout in France, with 1 million people now fully vaccinated and a further 2.4 million having received their first injection – trailing well behind many other countries.

L'Express said Sarkozy, known for his impatience, had been frustrated over the slow pace of the campaign.   

France's Health Minister Olivier Véran, 40 – who qualifies for the jab as a doctor – received his vaccine on live TV earlier this month. He declined to comment when asked about Sarkozy on Thursday, pointing to medical confidentiality.

READ ALSO 10 of the funniest things people said about the French health minister's semi-topless vaccine photo

An investigation is ongoing into claims that the American Hospital of Paris offered the vaccine to its wealthy donors and board members ahead of medical staff.

Sarkozy, president from 2007 to 2012, has been mired in legal troubles since leaving office but remains a popular figure for many on the right.

On March 1st, a court will give its verdict in a corruption trial involving Sarkozy, who faces up to four years in jail if found guilty. He is also named in several other probes.

Nonetheless his latest memoir, The Time of Storms, topped best-seller lists for weeks in France last summer.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

HEALTH

French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With France in the middle of a new wave of Covid-19, the country's health minister has urged the public to once again wear face masks on public transport and in crowded spaces.

French public urged to wear face masks again on public transport

With cases on the rise again, French Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon said she is “[asking] the French to put masks back on in transport” in an interview with RTL on Monday, 

For the time being, however, she stressed it was just advice, rather than an obligation, and masks have in fact been recommended on public transport since the legal requirement to wear them was lifted in May. 

However with France reporting over 50,000 daily cases of Covid-19 the government is clearly concerned by the current wave of the pandemic.

Bourguignon said that “we must protect ourselves and protect others,” adding that wearing a mask is “a civic gesture.”

She urged people to don their masks as soon as they see a crowded train or station.

READ MORE: Return of the health pass? How France plans to tackle new wave of Covid cases

In addition to public transport, Bourguignon is also asking the French to once again mask-up in “all crowded, enclosed areas.”

Currently, masks are only required in hospitals, health centres and places that have vulnerable residents such as nursing homes. They are recommended in crowded spaces where it is impossible to practice social distancing.

SHOW COMMENTS