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France significantly expands access to Covid-19 vaccines

France is accelerating its vaccination campaign, significantly expanding access to Covid-19 vaccinations.

France is accelerating its vaccination campaign, significantly expanding access to Covid-19 vaccinations.

Starting Wednesday, all adults will be able to book a vaccination appointment so long as jabs are still available, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday, at the opening of a new vaccination centre in Paris.

Under the plan, people will be able to see online whether vaccine doses from the previous day are still available near their place of residence and whether appointments are open, Macron said. If the answer to both is yes, people can book an appointment without age restriction.

This is “a somewhat unusual method,” but no vaccine dose should be wasted, he said.

Macron also announced that all people aged 50 and up could be vaccinated as early as this Monday. France had not expected to reach this goal until May 15.

In France, about a quarter of the total population has received at least one Covid-19 injection. Most vaccines available require a two-shot regimen.

Macron had already announced far-reaching relaxations last week: Shops, outdoor areas of restaurants and cultural institutions are to reopen from mid-May.

Since the beginning of the week, a rule that kept people from travelling more than 10 kilometres from their homes without justification has been lifted.

At last count, there were about 224 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the country within one week. This so-called seven-day incidence race has been falling steadily in recent weeks.

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