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COVID-19 VACCINES

MAP: Which parts of France lag behind for Covid vaccinations?

Over half of people living in France are now fully vaccinated, but behind the promising figures are stark geographical inequalities. We take a look at the parts of France which are currently struggling to keep up.

MAP: Which parts of France lag behind for Covid vaccinations?
A man receives a vaccine dose in Villetaneuse, a northern suburb of Paris. Photo: Alain JOCARD / AFP.

France’s Health Ministry announced on July 27th that over 50 percent of residents in France had been vaccinated. As of August 1st, more than 35.4 million people were fully vaccinated. It’s far from the 90 percent coverage experts now believe is necessary to achieve herd immunity, but it’s a significant milestone.

42.5 million people have received at least one dose – boosted by Macron’s July 12th announcement that the health pass would be required for many aspects of daily life, after which millions of people booked vaccine appointments.

Now, new figures from Assurance Maladie have shone a light on significant disparities in vaccination rates across France. The statistics are broken down into regions and départements.

Source: Ameli. Data from July 25th 2021.

Of the 96 départements which make up metropolitan France, Seine-Saint-Denis to the north of Paris has the lowest rate of vaccination - only 37.9 percent of people there are fully jabbed.

Seine-Saint-Denis also happens the be the mainland département with the worst poverty rates, according to the Observatoire des inégalités organisation.

READ ALSO How serious will France’s fourth wave of Covid be, according to experts?

The second départment with the smallest proportion of inhabitants who are fully vaccinated is Haute-Corse, the northern half of the Mediterranean island of Corsica, with 42.1 percent. Haute-Corse is also the metropolitan département with the second highest poverty rate, behind Seine-Saint-Denis.

According to figures crunched by franceinfo, variations depending on income level are present all across France. They are most pronounced in Ile-de-France, where only 25 percent of people in the poorest 10 percent of communes are fully vaccinated.

In a separate set of statistics, as seen in the tweet below, there is a clear correlation between average revenues in different parts of the Paris area (left) and vaccination rates (right).

Four of the next five départements with the lowest rates of vaccination or located in the south-east of France.

"In the south-east, a lot of people vote for the greens and the Rassemblement national, two ends of the political spectrum which are historically purveyors of anti-vax sentiment, with environmentalists on one side and nationalists on the other," Lucie Guimier, whose thesis looked at the geopolitics surrounding vaccine hesitancy, told franceinfo.

"The Rassemblement national voters in Paca (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) are largely composed of professionals, who care a lot about individual freedoms, notably in terms of health."

On the other end of the spectrum, Paris is leading the way having vaccinated 58.5 percent of its population, followed by Landes (57.7 percent) and Manche (56.3 percent).

Covid cases are also on the rise in a number of départements with low vaccination rates - Haute-Corse currently has the highest incidence rate in metropolitan France with 847 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and south-eastern France is also suffering from high infection rates. However, these are also popular destinations for tourists, and the virus is also spreading in highly-vaccinated areas like Landes and Paris.

Here are the ten metropolitan departments with the smallest proportion of fully-vaccinated inhabitants.

1. Seine-Saint-Denis - 37.9%

2. Haute-Corse - 42.1%

3. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence - 42.4%

4. Haute-Savoie - 43%

5. Val-d'Oise - 44.1%

6. Bouches-du-Rhône - 44.1%

7. Vaucluse - 44.4%

8. Corse-du-Sud - 45%

9. Tarn-et-Garonne - 45.6%

10. Haut-Rhin 46%

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COVID-19 VACCINES

More than 100,000 protest Macron’s plan to ‘piss off the unvaccinated’

More than 100,000 people across France protested on Saturday over what they say are government plans to further restrict the rights of the unvaccinated.

More than 100,000 protest Macron's plan to 'piss off the unvaccinated'
Demonstrators hold a banner reading " The youth piss off the vaccine front " during a protest against the health pass on Saturday. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

The protest came only days after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to “piss off” those refusing the jab.

The turnout was four times higher than the numbers who answered the December 18 call to protest, when 25,500 people marched across the country, according to government estimates.

The protests oppose a planned law that will require individuals to prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus before they can eat out, travel on inter-city trains or attend cultural events.

On Thursday, France’s lower house of parliament passed the controversial bill in a first reading. The government has said it expects the new requirements to be implemented by January 15, although lawmakers in the Senate could now delay the process.

About 18,000 protesters gathered in Paris. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

Interior ministry officials said 105,200 people participated in Saturday’s protests across France, 18,000 of them in the capital Paris, where police reported 10 arrests and three officers slightly injured. Elsewhere there were 24 arrests and seven police officers lightly injured according to the ministry.

Among the larger demonstrations, around 6,000 demonstrators turned out in Toulon, while in Montpellier police used teargas during clashes with protesters.

READ ALSO: 

France recorded 303,669 new coronavirus cases on Saturday amid mounting pressure on hospitals.

The Paris protesters, many of them unmasked, braved the cold and rain brandishing placards emblazoned with the word “truth” and “No to vaccine passes”.

Others took aim at Macron, using the same coarse language he employed in his attack on people holding out against vaccination earlier in the week.

Macron said Friday that he fully stands by controversial remarks he made on Tuesday, when he vowed to “piss off” people not vaccinated against Covid-19 until they accept shots.

The earthy language and uncompromising approach provoked uproar in French media and from opponents.

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