FFrance is preparing for a possible fourth wave of infections at an early stage. President Emmanuel Macron convened a Corona Security Council in the Élysée Palace on Tuesday to discuss further action in a confidential circle. On Tuesday evening, he intended to address the nation in a televised address.
Compared to Germany, the infection situation is relaxed. 2197 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. The incidence value per 100,000 inhabitants is the national average at 72.4, with a slight upward trend. “There is a negative context in the development of the pandemic,” warned National Assembly President Richard Ferrand. Macron’s party colleague called for a “national mobilization to prevent what we see in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere”.
Considerable vaccination catch-up
Macron last demonstrated in July that political will and assertiveness make a difference in the fight against the pandemic. At the beginning of the summer holidays he took a high risk when he forced the French to use 3G with the catchphrase health passport.
Since the televised address on July 12, the vaccination rate has skyrocketed. According to the Ministry of Health, 87.1 percent of French people over the age of 12 who are eligible for vaccination are now fully vaccinated. In the land of vaccination skeptics, this vaccination rate shows that we are catching up a lot.
But now the government is worried that the vaccination protection for the elderly and ailing people might not be enough. Since the beginning of September, all French people over 65 years of age or with previous illnesses have been recommended to protect themselves with a third booster vaccination in winter. The campaign got off to a slow start.
Of 7.7 million people eligible for the vaccination, only 3.3 million had the third dose administered. Therefore, it was expected on Tuesday that Macron would announce that the third dose for the health pass would be mandatory for people over 65 years of age or with previous illnesses.
In centralized France, the president does not have to take reservations in regions or at local level into account. However, the campaign for a third dose is not politically harmless. Opponents of vaccination continue to get a certain echo in the media, even if their “guru”, the Marseille doctor Didier Raoult, is threatened with sanctions from the medical association and criminal proceedings.
Macron had been prophesied of an uprising when he enforced compulsory vaccination for health workers in hospitals and nursing homes in mid-September. Ultimately, the compulsory vaccination contributed to the high vaccination rate. The Ministry of Health puts the number of recalcitrant vaccine opponents in the health service at 16,000 employees. They are sanctioned with cuts in salaries and, in the last instance, with loss of salary. Complaints by those affected have been thrown out in court.
Rather, the health care personnel crisis is a consequence of the overload during the first phase of the pandemic. Many nurses and nurses have resigned. The President of the French Hospital Association, Frédéric Valletoux, estimates the number of beds unused due to a lack of staff at six percent.