Starting Monday, any adult in France can get vaccinated against Covid-19, regardless of age or the presence of a pre-existing medical condition. You can be immunized if you are 18 or older and willing to wait.
The penultimate group in the French vaccination line, which began moving ahead in December, was supposed to be those aged 18 to 49.
President Emmanuel Macron said at the end of April that as of June 15, all individuals, regardless of medical issues, will be eligible. The deadline has been pushed out to May 31st.
Health Minister Olivier Véran pledged that additional spaces will be available on-line every day when he made the announcement earlier this week.
The initial response has been overwhelming, prompting health officials to advise patience in both enrolling and, beginning Monday, receiving a first shot.
Because of limited stockpiles of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the website Doctolib, which has been handling the bulk of French vaccination bookings, warns that there will be a high demand and that it will not be able to accommodate all patients.
The vaccination campaign against the coronavirus in France has picked up steam in recent weeks, with more than 23 million individuals (about a third of the population) receiving at least one shot.
However, there are presently 28 million French people who are eligible for immunization yet have never had one. Every day, an average of 500,000 dosages are provided.
Covid numbers in France are improving, with 10,675 new cases reported across the country and 3,028 patients in critical care.
Medical experts, on the other hand, continue to warn that a daily infection rate of 10,000 cases is still too high if France wants to avoid a fourth wave of the disease.
Professor Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at the Paris Pasteur Institute and a member of the government’s scientific advisory council, believes that “If the decrease in infections continues until June 9th, the next phase in the gradual relaxation of restrictions, we can look forward to a summer free of fear. The following two weeks are critical.”
Experts believe that the use of masks, particularly in crowded environments, and the continuing observance of social distancing standards are essential.