France Pushes For Health Pass Validity Subjected To Booster Shots For Senior Citizens
France–France has a new rule from December 15 where it is making it mandatory for people above 65 to provide proof of a booster jab in order, they can extend the validity of health pass.
On Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron said that over 65s in France will need to show proof of a Covid-19 booster jab to be able to visit restaurants, attend cultural events and take intercity trains. He warned that Covid-19 infections rates are climbing again in France.
This pass is routine part of life for many people in France since August. Upon the completion of vaccine course, a QR code is generated which can be shown to gain access to most venues. “We have not finished with the pandemic”, Macron said, explaining that while France is currently in a better position than either Germany or the UK, infection rates have gone up 40 percent over the last week.
With the introduction of this new rule in France, it will further tighten one of the strictest regimes in Europe. Earlier, in summer there were protests in France, when the measures were introduced, but they died off eventually.
Apart from France, there are many other European nations including the US that are seeking approvals for booster shots to be administered to its population, at some stage or the other. Macron has appealed the six million people eligible for the vaccine in France who have not yet even received a first dose to come forward and get the jab.
“This is an appeal to responsibility — get vaccinated,” he said. He urged to accelerate the booster campaign for over 65s. He also shared that more than 80 percent of the people in intensive care in France with Covid were aged were aged over 50 and announced the government would launch a campaign in December for 50–64-year-olds to have booster shots.
These efforts are also seeming to be connected to the April presidential elections, where Macron is expected stand for second term. Initially, analysts had warned he would face stiff opposition to the Covid pass plan in the summer but the strategy helped force a significant surge in vaccine take-up.
“To be free in a nation like France means being responsible and united. So “I am counting on you”, Macron said. The French leader added that the ‘vaccine alone is not enough’ and mask-wearing rules needed to stay in place, notably at schools. Any relaxations that have been considered will be put off in order to keep the rules currently in force”, he said. Health pass checks will also be stepped up, he added.
Macron said France was ‘one of the most protected countries in the world’ due to its vaccine rollout but warned that “we will have to live with this virus until the whole global population is immunized.”