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Obligatory Covid vaccines for all in France? Senators demand change

They claim it is needed as the effect of the health pass is wearing off and demand for first vaccines is decreasing

As of October 11, 87.9% of the eligible population in France have received a first dose of Covid vaccine Pic: Komsan Loonprom / Shutterstock

Senators from the Parti Socialiste (PS) - the second largest group in the Senate -  are to present a change to the law today (October 13) in a bid to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory in France.

Vaccination is already mandatory for some professionals such as healthcare workers, and the latest figures show that 50,673,917 people have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, equivalent to 87.9% of the eligible population.

However, the senators believe that the new law is necessary to ensure the remaining population also gets vaccinated.

PS senator and GP, Bernard Jomier, told FranceInfo: “The health pass was highly effective at encouraging people to get vaccinated but the effect of that has almost worn off.  

“We must go and seek out unvaccinated people. [The law] is a way of saying ‘everyone must be vaccinated’ because it is a duty.”

This comes as demand for first vaccination appointments continues to fall, with figures from October 11 showing that 29,219 people were given a first vaccine dose within 24 hours.

At the peak of the vaccine campaign, hundreds of thousands of people were being given first doses every day in France.

Asked about government plans to extend use of the health pass, to be discussed by the Conseil des ministres today, Mr Jomier said: “The government is prolonging the measure by saying ‘people in France are used to it’. That is not a scientific or reasonable reason.

“If the health pass is no longer encouraging people to get vaccinated, what will happen to the millions of people who are not vaccinated who risk prolonging another wave [of the virus]?”

Read more: French health pass to continue until at least November 15

Mr Jomier said it was time to “normalise” the Covid virus through standardised laws that could include obligatory booster doses every year if needed. 

He added: “There are 11 mandatory vaccines in France that children receive…Today that means we are on the way to eradicating some childhood diseases.

“[For Covid] we need collective immunity that means the virus can never again impact our society, our way of life or our ability to work.”

As with the current obligatory vaccinations it would be up to the government to set the age requirements by decree (after receiving the opinion of France’s top health authority).

The first examination of the law is due to take place today. The main group in the Senate (the Right) oppose the measure.

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