The Sound Kitchen: Covid vaccine sceptics in France

Audio 27:24
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the percentage of vaccine sceptics in France. There’s “On This Day”, listener news and letters, “Ollia’s Happy Moment”, some great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

It’s ePOP time!

RFI Planète Radio is sponsoring a video contest, and we want you to enter!

Planète Radio is an RFI department that gives voices to remote populations around the world. They are looking for 3-minute videos about climate change, the environment, pollution - told by the people it affects. Here’s what Planète Radio says about the competition:

“Environmental deterioration, climate change, pollution, everybody's talking about it. But amid articles, figures and expert reports, what do we really know about the feelings of the people already impacted? The video clips produced by the ePOP community in more than 50 countries allow us to hear from those who never ask for anything, yet have seen it all. Those who are already living with these changes that are deteriorating their quality of life.”

Your project should be intergenerational: get together with your grandfather, your aunt, someone older in your community and ask them how they feel about what is happening where they live, maybe in the place where they grew up. How do you feel about it? Tell us what you think, too.

For competition guidelines and more information about the different categories you can enter, click here    

You can also write to us at if you need more help.

We’re very proud that the winner in the ePOP 2020 RFI Club category went to an English language club – Adita Prithika’s RFI Agnichiragu Phoenix Club in Tami Nadu, India. Here’s Adita’s award-winning video.

She won a trip to Paris to attend an ePOP workshop (as soon as we have Covid-19 under control!) and five ePOP turning kits (tripod, lavalier microphone, USB key, report bag, t-shirt). 

Please note that you do not have to be a member of an RFI English Club to enter. Everyone is welcome!

The deadline for entries is 4 April, so time to get creative!



During the French lockdown to fight the Coronavirus last spring, we were constrained to stop broadcasting Paris Live, our afternoon news broadcast.

In the meanwhile, we are focusing on our digital presence, and making our website the best! You can read breaking news articles on our site, as well as in-depth analysis of current affairs, both in France and across the globe.

We are also developing new and exciting podcasts for you, and we are pleased to announce the birth of a brand-new podcast, Paris Perspective. Hosted and produced by veteran RFI English journalist David Coffey, Paris Perspective is a bi-weekly look, which, as David says:

" … features conversations with contemporary analysts, commentators, and icons about their personal relationship with France, the French, and how their lives have been influenced by Gallic culture. Paris Perspective includes one-on-one discussions, round table debates, and exclusive interviews with those who have a view of the world from France and about France."

Don't miss it!

We already have several very good podcasts which you can listen to right now: there is Africa CallingThe Sound Kitchen, and Spotlight on France. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis.  And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present at the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.



Send me your music requests! I’ll make programmes of your favourite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook up something new for you … write to me at

To listen to our features from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose Listen to RFI / Podcasts, and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our features from your mobile phone, the three horizontal bars are on the top left. Click and choose "Podcasts”.

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

World Radio Day will be here before we know it – let’s celebrate together! Send a recording to The Sound Kitchen with your World Radio Day wishes to your fellow radio lovers. Be sure you include your name and where you live. This year, more than ever, we really need to hear each other’s voices and feel connected to each other.

Record your message on your phone, and send the sound file to me as an attachment in an email to Remember, get under a blanket to record – it will make all the difference in the quality of the sound. Erwan and I will cook up a lovely show for World Radio Day on 13 February with your voices. We’ll need time – you need to get your recordings to me as soon as possible – the deadline is Friday 5 February.

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club members, both from Bangladesh. Sahadot Hossain, who is the president of the International Listeners Club in Sunamganj, and Mohammad Muklesur Rahman from Dhaka.

So glad you have joined us,Sahadot and Mohammad Muklesur!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

This week’s quiz: On 2 January, I asked you a question about the Covid-19 vaccine rollout here in France, which started in late December. RFI English journalist Amanda Morrow wrote an article about the rather high number of vaccine sceptics in France: “France begins Covid vaccinations, but only 13 percent 'certain' to volunteer”.

I was really surprised by the percentage point. I asked you to write in with the percentage of the French population who do not intend to get vaccinated against Covid-19, according to a poll conducted by Le Journal du Dimanche on 27 December, which Amanda quoted in her article. 

The answer is: 56 percent. That’s a lot, don’t you think? The numbers have changed now: According to a new poll whose results were published on 14 January, there has been a nine percent increase in vaccine acceptance with 47 percent of people saying they intend to get the vaccine.

The number of people who said they had no intention to get vaccinated went down to 40 percent, with 13 percent of respondents saying they are still not sure.

The survey points to a correlation between those who say they have confidence in how the government is handling the Covid crisis and a willingness to get vaccinated.

Off to a rough start, France is really buckling down to get the roll-out working efficiently … the government said this week that by August, everyone who wants to be vaccinated should have had their two jabs in the arm. Just in time for the August holiday!

What’s going on in your country with the vaccine? Write and let us know. 

By the way, be sure and read RFI English journalist Mike Woods’ article this week entitled “France’s Covid policy enriches billionaires, sends millions into poverty: Oxfam”

Mike wrote: “In its annual report on global inequality, Oxfam reports that the world’s 10 wealthiest people, all of them men, saw their collective fortunes soar by half a trillion dollars since the Covid pandemic began, even though the world economy is smaller. Their combined gains would be enough to pay to vaccinate every person in the world and ensure no one is pushed into poverty”.

That’s a good and right way to spend your crazy rich money, isn’t it? Think they will? Well, one can always hope for a sudden spurt of goodness, can’t one?

The winners are: Two brand-new RFI Listeners Club members and both are from Bangladesh: Shadman Hosen Ayon from Kishoreganj and Mohammad Mustansar Billah from Sunamganj. Then there are the old faithfuls, all RFI Listeners Club members as well: Arne Timm from Harjumaa, Estonia; Ralf Urbanczyk from Eisleben, Germany, and Jayanta Chakrabarty from New Delhi, India.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: “Raga Khammaj”, performed by Rajeev Janardan; Medley of French classics: “La mer” by Albert Lasry and Charles Trenet; “Les feuilles mortes” by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prevert, and “La vie en rose” by Louis Guglielmi and Edith Piaf, all performed by Joss Baselli and his orchestra; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Israel” by John Carisi, performed by the Bill Evans Trio; “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and a suite from the television series Downton Abbey by John Lunn, performed by the Chamber Orchestra of London. 

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 22 February to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 27 February podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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