France reports 40 mln vaccinated with at least one jab
The number of people in France who have received at least one jab against COVID-19 has crossed the 40-million mark, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.
After four million people received vaccines over the past two weeks, some 60 percent of the population are now partly or fully vaccinated, Macron tweeted during an official visit in French Polynesia.
"All together, we will beat the virus. We will carry on," he said.
The health ministry added Monday that some 33.2 million people in France, close to 50 percent of the population, are now fully vaccinated.
The announcement comes a day after France's parliament voted to make vaccine passports a key part of daily life in the battle against COVID-19.
Macron last week ordered the health pass—proof of full vaccination or a negative test—mandatory for visits to venues such as cinemas or nightclubs.
His government has made vaccinations the top weapon against COVID-19 as new variants emerge, essentially requiring people to become inoculated if they want to continue daily routines.
Vaccine passports have encountered fierce opposition from some, who believe they erode civil liberties. At weekend protests against the rules, over 160,000 people rallied and dozens were arrested.
Commenting on the demonstrations at the weekend, Macron said people who refused COVID jabs were "selfish" and "irresponsible".
Prime Minister Jean Castex has said that 50 million people will be vaccinated with at least one jab by the end of August.
France recorded more than 16,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday after almost 23,000 on Saturday, as the Delta variant caused a surge.
But the number of intensive care cases has dropped dramatically from its peak in April, with the government crediting the improvement to the accelerating vaccination rollout.
French hospitals are currently treating a total of 6,843 COVID patients. France's coronavirus death toll stands at 111,644.
© 2021 AFP