Emmanuel Macron faces tough questions after Covid jab shortages halt rollout in Paris | World | News


The French public health agency for the Paris region has told regional hospitals they must suspend injections of the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from February 2 because of limited supplies, a person familiar with the discussions said. The agency told hospitals that injections of the follow-up dose would continue and that vaccines would be supplied for that purpose, the source said, but no first doses would be delivered to Paris region hospitals for now. Mayor of Raincy, Jean-Michel Genestier explained he was forced to shut down a vaccine centre due to the shortage of doses.

Speaking to France 24, Mr Genestier said: “We prepared everything, in 72 hours we were ready for an opening on February 1.

“Then the prefect informed me a few days ago that because of a shortage of doses it was not possible to open.”

One resident in the region said: “I would have preferred to be vaccinated earlier so I didn’t have to worry.

“We are at their mercy.”

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It comes as France’s nightly curfew is failing to slow the spread of coronavirus infections and authorities are discussing the possibility of tighter curbs, Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday.

A curfew runs from 6 pm until 6 am every night but President Macron is under pressure to impose a third national lockdown since the crisis began almost a year ago as data shows another increase in hospitalisations and deaths.

“The data shows that at this time the curfew is not putting enough of a brake on the spread of the virus,” Attal told a news conference.

The different scenarios under discussion range from maintaining the status quo to a very strict lockdown, Attal said.

Restaurants, bars, museums and ski resorts are already closed in France but schools are still open. Shops remain open too but with restrictions on the numbers allowed inside.

Macron is likely to wait until Saturday, two weeks after the curfew was lengthened, before deciding on the next step and is concerned that more curbs on public freedoms may trigger acts of civil disobedience, a government official said.

During its first lockdown last spring, France closed all schools and universities and prohibited citizens from leaving their homes other than to buy groceries, carry out essential work, seek medical attention or exercise. Schools remained open during a less stringent confinement in the autumn.

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The French Government’s top scientific adviser, Jean-Francois Delfraissy, said on Sunday a new lockdown was necessary but that it was for politicians to decide how tough to make it.

Failure to impose another lockdown would result in a very difficult March as a more contagious variant first detected in Britain becomes increasingly prevalent in France, Delfraissy said.

The daily number of hospitalisations reached an eight-week high of 27,041 on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 death toll rose by 612 to 74,106, the world’s seventh-highest.





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