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28 Apr, 2021 13:25

More than 270,000 untaken Covid-19 vaccine appointments in France, but govt insists on following ‘priority list’

More than 270,000 untaken Covid-19 vaccine appointments in France, but govt insists on following ‘priority list’

The head of the French Covid-19 vaccine strategy has said that healthcare workers will continue to follow their priority list for immunizing the most vulnerable people first, despite a huge number of untaken appointments.

Speaking on Wednesday, France’s vaccine tsar, Alain Fischer, defended the government's vaccination strategy, which is to prioritize the elderly and vulnerable, despite there being more than 270,000 unclaimed vaccination slots as of 7:30am that same morning.

“We must go through the process of vaccinating the vulnerable people,” Fischer told Europe 1, adding “priority must go to those who need it most, those who are most at risk of getting sick, being hospitalized and dying.”

He claimed that it was necessary to ensure an adequate supply of shots so that the old or sick can be vaccinated when they wish to and not have to wait until later in the year because doses had been given to younger people.

Without referencing the huge number of untaken immunization slots on Wednesday morning Fischer admitted there were challenges relating to the efficiency of the immunization strategy.

“It is true that there can be either unused slots, or doses,” adding, in these cases, “the people responsible in the vaccination centers often have waiting lists, perhaps to pick up people who are a little younger.”

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According to the website Vite ma dose, a site which aggregates appointments available online in vaccination centers and pharmacies, there were 270,945 open slots this Wednesday morning at 7:30am (6:30am BST). The figure confirms Health Minister Olivier Veran’s comments from Tuesday in which noted that there are “a number of large vaccination centers which have open vaccination slots.”

France has suffered from low vaccine uptake compared to neighboring countries, despite a resurgence of Covid-19, with very little faith in the AstraZeneca vaccine. One doctor posted a video of him throwing away an outdated vial of the Anglo-Swedish jab, adding that he never thought he’d have to throw away vaccines during a pandemic. 

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