Over one million appointments were made for Covid vaccinations on Friday, January 15, on the first day that public bookings were open.
This represents around 500,000 people as two doses of the vaccine are required.
Vaccinations of those aged over 75 and those at high risk of developing serious forms of Covid-19 will begin on Monday, January 18.
#COVID19 | Plus d'1 million de rendez-vous ont été pris à l'ouverture de la vaccination aujourd'hui ⤵— Ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé (@Sante_Gouv) January 15, 2021
France’s health ministry stated that, “any eligible person who could not make an appointment this Friday will be able to do so in the coming weeks”.
“The Ministry reminds you that the progressive arrival of vaccine doses will allow the opening of new appointments beyond February 14, 2021.”
Eligible members of the public are able to book appointments by phoning their nearest vaccination centre or by arranging an appointment online.
The website www.sante.fr, through which people can find information on booking vaccination appointments, experienced “extremely high traffic on Friday, with 2.5 million visits and up to 20,000 connections per minute,” the health ministry stated.
The toll-free vaccination information phone number received 370,000 calls.
Some Connexion readers who attempted to book vaccination appointments have written saying they had difficulties using sante.fr and private booking website Doctolib, due to high traffic.
Health Minister Olivier Véran announced on Friday that 833 vaccination centres around the country were open and accessible for appointments. He stated that over one million vaccinations will be carried out by the end of January, and between 2.4 and 4 million by the end of February.
Pfizer vaccine delay
France’s public rollout is days from beginning but other countries in the EU could face problems with vaccine supplies.
Pfizer and BioNTech will temporarily cut shipments of its coronavirus vaccine to Europe, the companies announced yesterday (January 15). This is due to companies making changes to their manufacturing processes to boost production.
“[We] have developed a plan that will allow the scale-up of manufacturing capacities in Europe and deliver significantly more doses in the second quarter,” the companies wrote in a joint statement published yesterday.
“To accomplish this, certain modifications of production processes are required now. As a result, our facility in Puurs, Belgium will experience a temporary reduction in the number of doses delivered in the upcoming week.
"We will be back to the original schedule of deliveries to the European Union beginning the week of January 25, with increased delivery beginning the week of February 15 resulting in our ability to deliver the fully committed quantity of vaccine doses in the first quarter and significantly more in the second quarter.”
This delay is not expected to affect France’s supplies, BFMTV reported a government source as saying.
France has already received 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and is expecting 520,000 more doses next week.