Covid vaccination in France: Dates for 60-70 year-olds and 50-plus

President Macron lists dates of vaccine calendar moving forward and says the vaccine is proving effective. He gives first indications of hope for reopening cultural venues, cafés and restaurants...

31 March 2021
By Liv Rowland

Thanks to vaccination we can start to see an end to the crisis in view, President Macron said tonight in a televised address to the nation.

Three million people have now had two doses (and more than 8 million have had one dose) and the vaccine is effective, the president said. The mortality of over 80s has now strongly decreased as a result, he added.

The focus now, he said would be: “Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate, without respite, weekends and bank holidays the same as weekdays.”

Vaccination would open to 60-70 year olds starting April 16; 50-60 year-olds starting May 15 and to under 50 by mid-June. 

"Mistakes" had been made in the management of the crisis, he said. 

"At every stage of this epidemic, we could say to ourselves that we could have done better, that we made mistakes. All this is true," said Mr Macron, a few days after refusing any "mea culpa" for having decided in late January not to reconfine.

“We need to increase our purchase of doses and above all make the vaccine in France and Europe," he said. "We will the increase number of doses we obtain and will gradually become the top producing continent.

“We will also have to make sure we can produce new kinds of vaccine this autumn and winter and next year."

He said there are now 1,700 Pfizer/Moderna vaccination centres and GPs, nurses and pharmacies are mobilised to give the AstraZeneca vaccine and later the Johnson&Johnson one.

Mr Macron said he was very sorry that some people have not been able to get appointments and that efforts were being made to remedy this with a special number set up for making appointments.

Getting vaccinated is the key to reopening France, he added. The new effort of April and vaccination will help us stop this new virus so that the country can start to progressively reopen the country from mid-May.

“We will start to be able to enjoy again cultural activities which we have been missing, to go back to meeting places, shops… return to that French art de vivre represented by our cafés and restaurants that we love so much.”

He said he would speak on a further occasion about the calendar for this. 

“From mid-May, we will begin to reopen certain culture venues. We will authorise under strict conditions the opening of terraces and we will build, between mid-May and the beginning of the summer, a progressive reopening schedule for culture, sports, leisure, events, our cafes and restaurants.”

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