In an interview with Le Parisien on Friday, Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, said France would organise prérentrées vaccinales (a pre-semester vaccination campaign) for international students.
“We are working on the basis that they will be restricted by the rules of entry into the European Union. But we are also working on a protocol which will allow us to include international students in the campaign,” Vidal said.
The measure is part of wider efforts to ensure a return to on-campus teaching ready for the start of the new school year.
Vidal told the newspaper: “Our objective for September is to return to 100 percent in-person classes.”
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A tous les étudiants,
La vaccination accélère! Rendez-vous dès le 31 mai.
Pour vous protéger, pour protéger les autres, pour une rentrée 2021 aussi normale que possible. https://t.co/I8bx3o1vf4
— Frédérique Vidal (@VidalFrederique) May 20, 2021
“We provided teachers and establishments with self-testing kits during the exam period, and we will continue to do so. We also imagine that the majority of students will be vaccinated.”
However, the minister added that the vaccine would “not be obligatory”. Vidal was seeking to offer reassurance after the National Academy of Medicine on Tuesday recommended making the vaccine compulsory for several high-risk professions, including students and teachers.
The past year has been particularly difficult for students in France, with many receiving almost no face-to-face teaching.