The wait is over! After months of research and an effective Covid vaccine, the vaccine campaign against the virus has been launched on Sunday December 27, 2020 in France with the first patient to get the vaccine, 78-year-old former home help Mauricette who then becomes the first person to be vaccinated against coronavirus in France. “I’m moved” she said when getting the injection.
A campaign launched at the same time as other European countries, as required by the European Commission and its president Ursula Von der Leyen. But are all vaccine campaigns to follow the same speed? While many countries hit hard from the very beginning and speed up vaccinations, France seems to take its time. Yet, only a few hundred of people vaccinated by late December 2020 in about twenty facilities in Paris, Lyon, Lille and Tours, and a threshold met by late January 2021 totaling over 1.8 million people that have been given the vaccine.
As explained by LCI, this “slow” campaign is proper to France because of a “special process”. And for good reason, “consultation prior to the vaccine” is compulsory “in order to inform each patient about the vaccine or identify counter-indications such as possible allergies”. A process that can take some time: “We’ve met with people to talk about vaccine with them. We also contacted families, reliable persons and guardians”, Lille university hospital geriatrician Pr. François Pulsieux says.
A slowness in vaccine administration can be also led by the delivery of doses, in dribs and drabs, depending on their approval from health authorities and issuance. “There will be supply issues. We can expect the different countries’ vaccine plans to get delayed” economist Nathalie Coutinet explains. For the record, over 200 million doses are expected by late 2021 in France, including 12.5 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, naming enough vaccines for the entire population.