France - vaccines

Macron opens vaccine access to all adults as France steps up anti-Covid drive

French President Emmanuel Macron and Commander of the Paris fire department, the Brigade de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris (BSPP), General Jean-Marie Gontier visit a large-capacity COVID-19 vaccination center during its inauguration at Porte de Versailles convention centre in Paris, France May 6, 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Commander of the Paris fire department, the Brigade de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris (BSPP), General Jean-Marie Gontier visit a large-capacity COVID-19 vaccination center during its inauguration at Porte de Versailles convention centre in Paris, France May 6, 2021. REUTERS - POOL

French President Emmanuel Macron has opened up access to Covid-19 vaccines for all adults in the case of unused doses available for next-day appointments. On Thursday, the president inaugurated a new mass-vaccination centre at Paris's National Exhibition Centre, the latest "vaccinodrome" in France's campaign to boost the inoculation drive.

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The latest vaccinodrome is one of 27 mass vaccination centres in the Paris region. The new facility is intended to vaccinate up to 20,000 people per week.

Earlier this week, French authorities converted France's biggest stadium, the Stade de France on the northern outskirts of Paris, into a giant vaccination centre.

The opening of vaccinodromes across France are a visible sign that health authorities are stepping up the pace of inoculations following criticism over the slow initial roll-out due to supply problems.

In March, the southern city of Marseille opened its Velodrome Stadium for vaccinations, and Lyon followed suit last week, making available its Groupama Stadium, which reported 10,000 vaccinations over the Easter weekend alone. In the Paris area, an indoor cycle track in the Yvelines suburb southwest of the French capital, also opened last month.

Widening the age spectrum

The rapid opening up of new vaccination centres coincides with an increase in the number of people eligible for treatment. 

At the opening of the new Paris vaccinodrome on Thursday, Macron announced that as of 10 May, everybody over the age of 50 would have access to the jab, and as of 12 May, unused doses would be available to all adults, irrespective of their health status, for next-day appointments. 

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