COVID-19 RECOVERY

French workplace doctors start vaccinating employees at risk

From Thursday, French workplace doctors can give the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to at-risk employees aged between 50 and 64.
From Thursday, French workplace doctors can give the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to at-risk employees aged between 50 and 64. Istock /megaflopp

In an important step for France's coronavirus vaccination drive, from Thursday vulnerable people aged between 50 and 64 can ask their workplace doctors for the AstraZeneca shot.

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This age group is targeted because studies have not confirmed the effectiveness of this vaccine on people over 65 years of age.

Workplace doctors, authorised to vaccinate against Covid-19 under a law signed in early February, have been told they must go to pharmacies themselves to obtain doses of the vaccine.

The Secretary of State for Pensions and Occupational Health told news daily Le Figaro the the number of doses allocated would not depend on the size of the company, although workplace doctors were allowed to choose one pharmacy only for their supplies.

At-risk employees suffering diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity – who are at risk of developing a serious form of Covid-19 – are eligible to be immunised.

Meanwhile, some 30,000 local GPs in France have volunteered with the Ministry of Health to speed up vaccination among vulnerable people within this age group. Those vaccinations will also start from Thursday.

Official figures show more than 3.6 million French people have received at least one injection against the coronavirus. Authorities hope to break the 8 million mark by the end of March. 

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