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France to open ways for public to register for Covid vaccine

Anyone who wishes to be vaccinated will soon be able to register their consent and make an appointment, says health minister 

Stung by criticism over the slow pace of the coronavirus vaccine rollout in France, Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced that anyone who wishes to be vaccinated will be able to register and make an appointment.

"We are now going to amplify, accelerate and simplify our vaccine strategy," Mr Véran said during an interview on RTL on Tuesday, January 5.

Registration will be possible, 'by internet, by phone no doubt, and - why not - by the TousAntiCovid application', he added. "We will open, in the coming days, a registration process for people in France who want it ... so that the French who wish to be vaccinated can ... register and can make appointments."

Mr Véran did not give details about how the Covid-19 vaccine registration and appointments process would work but said he would provide information during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday, January 7.

He said there would not be enough doses for all those who want to be vaccinated immediately - France currently has some 560,000 doses, and expects to receive 500,000 more every week.

But he said that the new system for those ready to consent to the vaccine would improve confidence and 'visibility'.

The Health Minister also announced the immediate release of the vaccine to firefighters / emergency workers and carers aged 50 and over, and said that injections for over-75s who do not live in nursing homes would be authorised before the end of January.

The French government has been criticised for the slow rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. One reason for the early delays at nursing homes, experts said, was that France required a pre-vaccination GP appointment and the express consent of the person being vaccinated. 

Consent visits took place several days before the vaccine was delivered to the nursing home, a 45-page guide given to care homes shows, in a bid to limit vaccine waste. This was compounded by many home residents being judged unable to give consent and so requiring family to do so.

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