Covid-19 - France

American Hospital of Paris accused of allowing VIPs to jump vaccine queue

The entrance to the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine outside Paris, 3 April 2019.
The entrance to the American Hospital of Paris in Neuilly-sur-Seine outside Paris, 3 April 2019. © AFP - Alain Jocard
2 min

The American Hospital of Paris in the upscale western suburb of Neuilly has been slammed for giving Covid-19 vaccines to members of its board not considered one of the priority at-risk groups. The private hospital defended itself, saying it had offered vaccinations to all of its staff.

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“Prioritisation is very clear in our country, we protect the most fragile by order of priority,” Health Minister Olivier Véran said on Tuesday morning in an interview with FranceInfo.

Véran said he deplored any special privileges given or queue jumping for Covid-19 vaccines, and would investigate the allegations. 

The American Hospital of Paris, located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Neuilly-sur-Seine, had reportedly given vaccine doses to some 20 members of its board of governors and donors – while doctors, nurses and support staff are still waiting for their first injection of the vaccine.

The hospital, which is popular with celebrities, has not denied giving out vaccines to its board of governors or other “volunteers”.

“Conforming to the directives given by the Regional Health Agency (ARS), vaccinations have been offered from 4 January 2021 to all people involved in the hospital – doctors, nurses, administrators, governors, cleaners, security, restaurant workers, volunteers,” the hospital said in reply.

The hospital claimed that unused doses of vaccine, due to existing medical conditions or people who did not wish to be vaccinated, had been used instead for others to prevent any undue wastage of the vaccine because of its perishable nature.

France’s vaccination campaign is currently targeting people over the age of 75 and healthcare workers.

The hospital’s board of governors includes personalities such as CNN’s senior European correspondent Jim Bittermann, Norbert Becker, president of PayPal Europe and Iris Knobloch, president of Warner Bros in France.

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