11.7% French adults received first Covid-19 vaccine jab

A total of 6,137,375 people in France have got their first Covid-19 vaccine jab, representing 11.7 per cent of the adult population, as the government speeds up vaccine rollout to counter resurgence of more infectious virus variants, data from Health Ministry showed.

Meanwhile, 2,444,473 citizens (4.7 per cent of the adult population) have completed their inoculation, the ministry reported on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The French government aims to vaccinate 10 million people by mid-April, 20 million by mid-May and a total of 30 million, or two-thirds of the adults, by mid-June. It has already approved the use of vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

On Friday, France resumed the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after the European Union’s medicines regulator confirmed that the vaccine is safe and efficient.

The country’s National Health Authority (HAS) recommended that vaccination with AstraZeneca shots can resume without delay and should be administered only to people aged 55 years and over.

France was one of more than a dozen EU states that had suspended the use of the British-Swedish vaccine this week following reports of people developing blood clots after the jab.

In a move to restore public faith in the vaccine, Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55, received an AstraZeneca shot on Friday. He is the second government member who received the vaccine after Health Minister Olivier Veran.

France reported on Saturday 35,327 new cases of Covid-19, up from 35,088 on Friday and 34,998 on Thursday. This marked a high level last seen in mid-November 2020, bringing the total caseload to 4.25 million in the country.

The coronavirus-linked fatalities increased by 185 to 92,167, health authorities reported.

Earlier in the day, the greater Paris region and parts of northern France entered into a one-month lockdown to curb the surge in viral circulation.