French Health Authority Proposes Optional Covid-19 Vaccinations

FRENCH Health Authority Proposes Optional Covid-19 Vaccinations.

The Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS), France’s national health authority,  has drawn up its recommendations to the government on the roll-out of vaccinations against Covid-19. The French government is to announce the details of the programme this week.

It’s now looking very unlikely that having a vaccination against Covid-19 will be compulsory in France. The HAS recommends that uptake should be voluntary- President Macron also suggested on Tuesday that he did not favour an obligatory vaccination.

Instead, it’s hoped that the vast majority of people will be persuaded by information campaigns that vaccination is an attractive choice personally as well as being of benefit to wider society. French Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Oliver Véran said last week that if all goes well the vaccine rollout could start at the end of December or in early January.

The HAS today outlined a 5-stage suggested plan for the vaccination rollout. The estimated 750,000 residents in Care Homes would be the top priority. Staff in Care Homes who have underlying health issues or are over 65 would also be vaccinated in this first stage. The HAS says around 90,000 to 100,000 people fall into this group.

The next phase of the programme would concern those aged over 75 but not living in Care Homes. It is unclear whether people working to care for this group would also be vaccinated at this stage.

Those aged 65 to 74 who have underlying health problems would then receive the vaccine, followed by those in the same age group who are otherwise relatively healthy. Next in the same phase would be medical or socio-medical staff, ambulance workers etc. starting with those who are over 50 or have serious underlying health problems.

Phase 3 would concern the population both under and over 50 who are at risk because they have existing health problems. All remaining medical, socio-medical and all other workers considered vital, such as teachers and the police would also be vaccinated in phase 3.

Phase 4 would include those whose work means they are in close regular contact with the public within a confined space, such as supermarket workers. People considered generally vulnerable such as those living in psychiatric facilities, as well as prisoners and homeless people would also be vaccinated at this stage.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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