France begins Covid-19 vaccinations, 78-yr-old receives 1st dose

A 78-year-old woman received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in France, marking the start of the vaccination campaign against the virus in the country, one of the hardest-hit in Europe.

The woman was a former housekeeper and now resident of the long-term care unit of a hospital in north Paris, reports Xinhua news agency.

“‘Ca va’ (I am fine). Perfect,” the women said on Sunday after receiving the vaccine at a hospital in Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis department.

Minutes after the vaccination campaign started, President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “We have a new weapon against the virus: the vaccine.

“The vaccine will not be compulsory. Let us have confidence in our researchers and doctors.

“We are the land of the Enlightenment and the Pastor, reason and science must guide us.”

The President had tested positive for the virus on December 17 and has since recovered.

Only 40 per cent of French people have said that “they certainly or probably want to be vaccinated”, according to the weekly epidemiological update of Public Health France published last week.

The French government has planned a gradual roll-out plan to invite citizens, on a voluntary basis and free of charge, to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

The authorities are aiming to have 1 million people, among the oldest and most vulnerable, vaccinated by the end of February in the country’s 7,000 nursing homes and related facilities.

To date, France has reported 2,616,510 confirmed coronavirus cases and 62,867 deaths.