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POLITICS

Macron: French Covid health pass for over-65s to depend on booster jab

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced an expansion of France's vaccine booster shot programme as the fifth wave of Covid hits Europe - and made boosters a requirement for a health pass for the over 65s.

French president Emmanuel Macron.
French president Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

Macron laid out his concerns about a rise in case numbers in France, and said the decision had been taken to expand the eligible groups for the Covid booster shot – and to link third doses to the health passport.

Over 65s and those in high risk groups are already eligible for a third dose of the Covid vaccine, but from the beginning of December this will be extended to all over 50s.

From December 15th, the health pass will cease to be valid for over 65s who who are eligible for the booster shot but have not had it.

He said: “From December 15th, you (over 65s) will need to provide proof of a booster shot to extend the validity of your health pass.”

The president also issued a call to the roughly 6 million unvaccinated French people to get the vaccine, saying: “Vaccinate yourself to protect yourselves. Vaccinate yourselves to be able to live normally.

“Being free, in a nation like France, implies responsibility and solidarity.”

Macron added: “The World Health Organisation has said that the 5th wave has begun in Europe.

“More than 30,000 new cases per day have been recorded in the UK and Germany.

“The 40 percent rise in the incidence rate and the increase in hospitalisations is a warning sign.”

In France cases are rising, but more slowly than many neighbouring countries. The current daily average of new cases in France is 6,900 – significantly lower than many other European countries but representing a 23 percent rise on the previous week.

Macron’s live TV address did not only focus on the pandemic, he also talked about the economy and the government’s plans to restart economic growth.

He also announced that France would begin building more nuclear reactors, and said that his flagship pension reform would not be brought in before the April 2022 elections.

In a plea for European solidarity he added: “Without the EU, we could not have had the vaccine so quickly.

“It is with them that we will work in the coming months to take on the challenges that we share.”

He concluded by telling the French people: “We have overcome an unprecedented mix of crises, from the pandemic to terrorism to geopolitical disorder and throughout it we have stayed profoundly human. 

“Let us not fear. Believe in us. Believe in France.”

Member comments

  1. I’m over 65 but not eligible for the 3rd jab til February ( ie 6 months after the 2nd jab ). Will my pass still be valid after Dec 15 ?

  2. Very worried about just how much influence Pfizer and other such companies have on our freedoms. Even the American CDC this week said there is a link between the “vaccine” and heart problems noted within young adults/ adolescents being jabbed. This should be cause for concern. Why isn’t it?

    1. Anthony, those are very rare cases and all of these patients have fully recovered. The risks one is exposed to by getting Covid-19 are far greater than those posed by rare cases of (for example) Myocarditis as side effect. I had Covid in spring 2020 and my sense of smell is still not back…
      Billions of doses have been administered globally by now and there have been no reports of drastic side effects in large numbers of recipients – so I guess it can be considered as pretty safe by now.
      Also, I’m very happy that companies like Biontech etc. have been able to develop vaccines so swiftly, otherwise our freedom would still be curtailed by lockdowns and curfews.

  3. Hi

    The booster is not showing up on the NHS app………..what will that mean for over 65s coming to France from UK, who have had their booster but it doesn’t appear on their app ?

  4. Over 65s and those in high risk groups are already eligible for a third dose of the Covid vaccine, but from the beginning of December this will be extended to all under 50s.

    Interesting, so if you’re between 50 and 65 you have to wait? Must it be over 50s?

  5. I am currently undergoing immunotherapy treatment and have been advised by the hospital not to have my booster jab until January when the treatment will be completed. Does that mean that I will lose my pass sanitaire, I am 76 years old?

  6. I am currently undergoing immunotherapy treatment and have been advised by the hospital not to have the booster jab until January. Does that mean that I will lose my pass sanitaire I am 76 years old?

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POLITICS

Newly appointed French Minister faces rape allegations

The final composition of the new French government was announced on Friday. A new investigation suggests that historic rape allegations against a newly appointed minister were ignored.

Newly appointed French Minister faces rape allegations

It didn’t take long for scandal to hit the France’s new government.

An investigation by Mediapart published the day after the final list of ministerial positions was announced revealed that two women have accused one of the appointees of rape. 

READ MORE Who’s who in France’s new government?

Damien Abad, the new Solidarity Minister denies the allegations and a police investigation into one allegation was dropped in 2017. But another could be about to open. 

Who is Damien Abad? 

Damien Abad is a 42-year-old son of a miner from Nimes in southern France who became the first handicapped MP to be elected in 2012. He has arthrogryposis, a rare condition that affects the joints.

Prior to his appointment as the Minister for Solidarity, Autonomy and Disabled People, he was the leader of the France’s right-wing Republicans party in the Assemblée nationale

What are the allegations? 

Two alleged victims, who didn’t know each other, told Mediapart that Abad raped them on separate occasions in 2010 and 2011.

The first woman described meeting Abad for dinner after having met him weeks earlier at a wedding. She said she blacked out after one glass of champagne and woke up in her underwear in a hotel bed with Abad the next morning fearing she had been drugged. 

A second woman who lodged a formal charge against Abad in 2017 said that he harassed her by text message for years. She eventually agreed to meet with him one evening. After initially consenting, she told him to stop – but her plea fell on deaf ears as Abad raped her. 

What does Abad have to say? 

The new minister denies the accusations.

“It is physically impossible for me to commit the acts described,” he told Mediapart – in reference to his disability. 

He admitted to sending “sometimes intimate” messages, but said he had “obviously never drugged anyone”. 

“I was able to have adventures, I stand by my claim that they were always consensual.”

Is he under investigation? 

The second alleged victim made a formal allegation against Abad in 2017. 

A subsequent investigation was dropped later that year after a “lack of sufficient evidence was gathered”.

Mediapart report that Abad’s entourage were not questioned by police and that the MP told investigators that he had no memory of the alleged crime. 

The first alleged victim flagged the abuse to the Observatory of Sexist and Sexual Violence in Politics – an unofficial watchdog monitoring elected bodies – earlier this month. 

The Observatory has since brought the case to the state prosecutor, but it is unclear if another investigation will be launched.  

Who knew? 

The tone deaf appointment of Gérald Darmanin as Interior Minister in 2020 was controversial because at the time he was under investigation for rape. His nomination was met with street protests in Paris and elsewhere. Feminists accused (and continue to accuse) Emmanuel Macron of not taking sexual violence seriously. 

The investigation into Darmanin’s alleged crime has since been dropped.

Some will question whether the naming of Abad shows that lessons have not been learned. 

“Once again a minister  in the government of Emmanuel Macron accused of rape,” said Caroline De Haas, the founder of the #NousToutes feminist movement. 

The Observatory sent a message warning senior party figures in the Republicans and LREM about the allegations on Monday – prior to Abad’s nomination. 

France’s new Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne denied having any knowledge of the warning. 

“I am going to be very clear on all these questions of harassment and sexual violence, there will be no impunity,” she said during a visit to Calvados. 

“If there are new elements, if the courts are summoned, we will accept the consequences.” 

READ MORE Who is Élisabeth Borne, France’s new PM?

The Observatory meanwhile claims it has been ignored. 

“Despite our alerts, Damien Abad who is accused of rape has been named in government. Thoughts and support to the victims,” it tweeted

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