France to offer Covid vaccine to all 12 to 18-year-olds in mid June
France is to start offering Covid-19 vaccinations to everyone aged between 12 and 18 from 15 June, President Emmanuel Macron has announced.
The move is the latest expansion in the vaccination drive that has gathered pace considerably in recent weeks. Vaccine supplies have increased and the government is keen to extend coverage quickly to try to slow the spread of any variants that might cause problems.
All adults in France have been eligible for a jab since Monday - several weeks ahead of the scheduled date.
50 percent of French adults have now received at least one Covid vaccine dose, Macron said on a visit to southern France, calling it "truly a turning point" in the country's inoculation drive.
He announced on Monday that he and his wife Brigitte have now been vaccinated.
France is emerging from its third nationwide lockdown, with restaurants and cafes now allowed to serve clients outside, and indoor dining scheduled to start again on June 9.
Pressure on hospitals has eased, with the number of Covid patients in intensive care falling steadily in recent weeks, with 2,825 serious cases as of Tuesday, down from around 6,000 in April.
However, speaking in the village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in southern France, Macron also urged people to remain "extremely careful and vigilant”.
He said wearing face masks outdoors would still be required in several regions for the time being.
The president was in the picturesque village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie to launch a nationwide tour to talk to people around the country.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe