People in France who are eligible for a fourth Covid vaccination are being sent email reminders to get their dose as the seventh wave of the virus accelerates.
The ‘fourth’ dose is technically a second booster dose, and extends protection against the virus.
There were more than 124,000 Covid cases recorded on Wednesday, June 29, said health body Santé publique France, with 4,654 hospitalisations over the last week, including 446 into intensive care units.
On Monday (June 27), Health Minister Brigitte Bourguignon called for the people in France to start wearing masks again on public transport amid rising cases.
The idea was equally supported by the SNCF two days later. However currently there are no known plans to reinstate compulsory mask wearing in public transports in France.
Read more: Covid France: Wear a mask on public transport, says health minister
Who is eligible for a fourth dose in France?
People aged 60 or over
People who are immunosuppressed
Care home residents
Since the start of May, 1.5 million people aged 80 or over have already received an email from the Assurance maladie to “inform them of the necessity of getting a second booster”.
The ministry of health also confirmed on June 29 that “around the same time, we sent 8.5 million extra emails to the age 60-79 group.”
However, almost two months later, just a third of eligible people had received their second booster dose, which is insufficient, says the government.
In response around 10 million emails will now be sent [to eligible people] without distinguishing between people who have already been vaccinated via the Assurance maladie.
Will the fourth dose be rolled out to everyone?
So far, the government has said that this is not on the cards.
A fourth dose has also been recommended for health professionals, and there have been information campaigns rolled out in elderly care homes "for people who are in charge of these establishments, patients' associations” as well as “health professionals, the general public but also for people at risk and those around them”.
However, a fourth dose is not obligatory and has not been opened to the general population.
It comes as France reviews the idea of prolonging the Covid pass for international travel.