France has suspended 3,000 healthcare workers without pay for refusing the Covid vaccine.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said that staff had been notified in writing before the government imposed deadline have at least one dose.
Véran said that “several dozen” had resigned instead of receiving the vaccine, but with an estimated 2.7 million healthcare workers in France, “continuous medical care is assured,” he said.
In July, the president, Emmanuel Macron, told staff in hospitals, nursing homes and the elderly, as well as those in the fire service, that they had until September 15 to get partially or fully vaccinated.
The French health authority, Santé Publique, estimates that less than 12% of hospital staff and around 6% of doctors in private practice have not been vaccinated.
Currently, just under 47 million French people aged 12 years and over are fully vaccinated, representing 81.4% of the population; 86.1% have received at least one jab.
“A large number of these suspensions will be temporary”, Véran told RTL radio. “They mainly involved staff in the support service, such as those who worked in the laundry or in the preparation of food.” He said that very few doctors and nurses were left unvaccinated. “Many of them have decided to get vaccinated now that the obligation to do so has become a reality,” he said.
The Paris public hospital organization AP-HP said 340 of its staff had been suspended. The figures were highest in the south, where vaccinations are most common: 450 employees have been suspended in a Nice hospital, 100 in Perpignan, 76 in Brest and dozens in other big cities and towns.
The number of cases in France has dropped to less than 100 per 100,000 for the first time since mid-July. There are now around 10,000 new positive cases per day, which means health restrictions, including the health pass that requires people to have been vaccinated, recovered from Covid, or have a negative Covid test to enter bars. , restaurants, cinemas, museums and other public places. , must stay.
“The situation has improved considerably thanks to the massive vaccination of the French population, thanks to the barrier gestures, the vigilance of the people … and the health pass,” said Véran. “The epidemic is not over, but we are reducing it with a 30% reduction in cases in one week, so we are going in the right direction and we have to continue to do so.
“Nine out of 10 people in France eligible to be vaccinated have been vaccinated. Today we are one of the most vaccinated countries in the world … the more we vaccinate, the more chances we have of getting out of this. “
Véran defended the mandatory nature of the vaccine for certain workers. “It is only the first day, but there was no chaos, far from it, and the number of people who get vaccinated in hospitals and nursing homes is much, much higher than it would have been if the vaccine had not been made mandatory” .
He said that most of the federations and orders of medical personnel had been consulted and that the vaccine had been approved to be mandatory for health workers.
Thierry Schifano, president of the Fédération Nationale de la Mobilité Sanitaire (National Federation for Health Mobility), said that 13% of ambulance and medical vehicle drivers were not vaccinated “and do not want to be”.
“We risk real difficulties with an interruption in patient treatment and an increase in ambulance shortages,” he said. “We have to find a way to work under reduced conditions for a time.”
Among firefighters, an estimated 80% are vaccinated, but around 100 have filed a second complaint with the European court of human rights after the first was rejected late last month.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism