Friday 12/3/21
THIRD DOSE

French rush on booster shots after government tightens Covid rules

From December, people aged over 50 are to become eligible for a booster vaccine

04 November 2021, Hessen, Frankfurt_Main: A woman gets her first vaccine jab inside the Vaccination Tram in Frankfurt. People who want to be vaccinated can board the tram, which runs on regular routes through Frankfurt, at any time without an appointment. Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa.
A woman gets her first vaccine jab inside the Vaccination Tram in Frankfurt (Germany). People who want to be vaccinated can board the tram, which runs on regular routes through Frankfurt, at any time without an appointment. Photo: Boris Roessler/dpa.

Demand for Covid-19 vaccination appointments has surged in France after President Emmanuel Macron upped the pressure on older citizens to book booster appointments.

Almost 150,000 people made an appointment for a booster shot on Tuesday alone via Doctolib, the popular online platform said on Wednesday.

From mid-December, people aged over 65 will need to get a booster jab - meaning for the most part a third injection - in order for their so-called vaccine passport to remain valid.

People will need to provide this document, or proof of a Covid-19 recovery or a recent negative test, in order to visit restaurants and bars, or to travel on planes or long-distance trains.

The rules also apply to some extent to the workplace.

From December, people aged over 50 are to become eligible for a booster vaccine, Macron said.

Macron appealed to the populace to "get vaccinated" in a televised address on Tuesday evening, warning that the pandemic was not over.

Surge in infections

Pointing to the surge in infections, the president said, "Make an appointment now."

Since France began administering booster shots in late August, some 3.8 million out of the 7.7 million people eligible have had the additional shot.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin announced on Wednesday stricter police checks to ensure the rules were being adhered to.

He said that Macron had asked him to act in light of rising case numbers.

France's seven-day incidence rate - the number of infections registered per 100,000 people over a week - currently stands at just below 75.

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