Wed 15 September 2021:
If healthcare personnel in France are not vaccinated against COVID-19, they will be fired starting today.
In a speech earlier this summer, President Emmanuel Macron stated that medical professionals and others who interact with vulnerable people, such as nursing home non-medical personnel, must receive the vaccine.
He gave them until September 15 to get protected. 2.7 individuals are affected by the demand. According to official numbers released last week, almost 86 percent of people affected by the measures are fully vaccinate, implying that many are at risk of sanctions.
These measures were seen as a bid to boost vaccination, which had been flagging in the early summer.
A month after the announcement, Santé Publique France noted that an increase in vaccination of healthcare professionals had been observed over the preceding weeks. Then, general practitioners (GPs) had the highest rate with 70.6% of them fully inoculated while nursing auxiliaries and junior doctors had the lowest at around 43%.
As of September 7, about 84% of caregivers in nursing homes, hospices, hospitals and other facilities have received their full vaccination course, with the rate climbing to 91.1% for self-employed medical professionals such as GPs and nurses.
Thousands of healthcare personnel may be at risk of losing their jobs as a result of their failure to get vaccinated.
Some healthcare personnel have been protesting the COVID health pass and obligatory vaccination on a weekly basis.
“We are up against the wall. On September 15, some colleagues and I will be suspended without pay. The health system didn’t need this”, Corinne, a nursing auxiliary for the past 30 years, said during Saturday’s demonstration in Paris.
According to official data, some 120,000 people attended the rally in the French capital.
If medical professionals are no longer allowed to work, the CGT union has warned of a “health disaster.” Another union, FO-Santé, has issued a similar warning, pushing the government to extend the deadline, claiming that due to staff shortages, certain facilities may be forced to close their doors.
The administration, on the other hand, has stood firm, with Prime Minister Jean Castex stating in late August, “We will not back down.”
Health Minister Olivier Véran has meanwhile said that “systematic controls” would be carried out.
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