across the Atlantic, in France, it’s a gamble die starts to pay off off.
Despite a slow start to the roll-out of vaccination earlier this year, fueled by problems in the supply chain die culminated in in a bruise public battle with AstraZeneca over supply shortages and concerns over blood clots, France finally got its program up and run in spring. In May, the country reached its goal of partially vaccinate 20 million people — 30% of to be population. But then it started fast hit An wall.
In July, with French vaccination rate stagnated and coronavirus cases increased, French President Emmanuel Macron imposed a sweeping vaccination requirements for a lot of of daily life.
if of 1 August, anyone without a “health” pass” show evidence of their vaccination status of a recent negative test, should not in be able to enter bars and cafes, of long distances met to get off the train, Macron said. Staff members in health care — a group of about 2.7 million people in France — who were not vaccinated on Wednesday, face fired without pay of be suspended.
die from Macron move was a calculated risk in a country where a deep cultural belief in individual freedoms and mistrust of government has manifested in vaccine hesitation.
“It is clear, Emmanuel Macron took An risk”, said Bruno Cautres, a politician analyst in the middle for Political research at Sciences Po in Paris.
“He took An risk to say I’ll make life of the unvaccinated very difficult, which is a very, very, very dangerous statement for a leader.”
When the proposal went to French lawmakers, protesters started weekly demonstrations against the health pass. on July 31, more than 200,000 people took to streets in all of France, a mix of the ones die be against health pass and its limitations on freedoms, and people reluctant to be fully vaccinated.
Yet for all the noise, a lot of more French people were voting with their feet in support of the passes stretch out their arms. On the same day, 532,000 people have been vaccinated, according to the French Ministry of Health.
Despite some early opposition, Macron’s risk seems to reap significant rewards.
Immediately after Macron .’s speech on July 12 was one spike in vaccination appointments in France. Doctolib, de main platform for book jabs in the country, saw 1 million appointments made in 24 hours. Thank you in part of the swelling vaccination rate — by with a huge increase in testing linked to the Covid pass, and the reintroduction of mask mandates in regions bad hit by the Delta variant — mainland France succeeded in the fourth wave die by largely bypassing Europe and the US.
One month in France new Health pass regime, country health authority data show an overall decline in hospital and ICU admissions since the summer peaks. And while public health experts waiting to see of the decline will continue, many are cautiously optimistic.
“In the few minutes after the [Macron’s] announcement, there was a record hit in the number of reservations to vaccinate. And this went on also on the next days. And what we see now is that they are still increasing,” Vittoria Colliza, a in Paris-based epidemiologist at Inserm, the French public-Health research center, CNN . told in a telephone interview in August.
“I think in terms of incentives, this really works. And the sanitary pass yourself also has a second effect … the restrictive of Contact risk in U.S social everyday life, so this should Have a effect in terms of the number of cases.”
Now the US wants to replicate some of France’s success.
Last Thursday, President Biden imposed strict measures on new vaccine rules on most federal employees, health personnel and companies with 100 of more Staff members. Announcement of the move, die could affect as many as 100 million Americans, Biden expressed frustration over the unvaccinated. “We have been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of ushe said, acknowledging that… new steps wouldn’t offer a quick one fix.
The mandates represent an important change in go overboard for for the Biden administration, die tried before avoid widespread vaccine requirements. In the US, mask and vaccine mandates are mainly left to local authorities. But when US vaccination efforts faltered in In recent months, the administration began to revolve around more coercive measures to get shots in arms. End of July, Biden announced that all federal employees and contractors would be required to get vaccinated, of to submit to regular to test.
Heidi Larson, the founder of the Vaccine Confidence Project, agrees that: government coercion is not necessarily a panacea for converting the unvaccinated.
“At the end of the day, it [mandates] increases absorption, but for die people who hesitating things like that makes them right more angry. They dig their heels even deeper,” Larson said.
“We’ve done something” national research with a lot of people in the UK, and brought in the whole vaccine passport issue, and it was fine for the people who were pro-vaccine and accepted, but for the people who hesitated, it made them even more hesitant, and more probably refuse if they felt like like they were told to do it, of that it was a moral responsibility.”
For those die hesitate to receive new developed vaccines, wider action is needed to encourage uptake, experts say. Information was “not bad” clear” over the vaccines, said Catherine Hill, an epidemiologist at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris. “There were many of rumors of fake news over the trials,” she said.
forward of the new law, the French government tried to gear up vaccination coverage through incentives and public health appeals – an effort die they have continued as health pass has rolled out.
“Get vaccinated if you love your relatives, your friends, your brothers, your sisters and your… parents’ said Macron on Instagram, “because in if you get yourself vaccinated, you protect them too.”
The rethinking of communication coincided with a push in the back to make vaccines more easy available. Appointments by the sea are open for die on holiday and walk-in sessions started, both of which epidemiologist Hill credits? for help out with France’s Covid-19 U-turn.
“This [mandates] was really a change of paradigm,” Colliza said. “If you think… over the hesitancy of vaccines and… how authorities tried to deal with it, in the begin was it really a lot of Busy on explanation, on communication, and the goal was really not to oblige people but to convince them. And at some point, given the very large circulation of the Delta variant in several EU countries, authorities move to something that is a little more to limit.”
The final phase of Macron’s health pass law kicks in this week, with the mandate on health workers die enter effect.
if of August 30 public-facing employees, as well as customers, in establishments covered by the law were: required present a health statement pass to enter the property. In France, nearly 1.8 million workers were affected by this expansion.
Anais Majdoubi, a 27-year-old employee a brown color escape game business in Paris was initially hesitant to get vaccinated. She used to get a Covid-19 test every three days to show to her boss, An strategy that proved impractical when the French government approved health pass law in August. She got met reluctantly the jab, but fears for what it means for the ones die still holding out against vaccination.
“I think we just have to watch out people who are not vaccinated, not because of treat them no different,” said Majdoubi.
“We wouldn’t met point our fingers at them.”
Eliza Mackintosh of CNN wrote and reported from London, England, and Joseph Ataman, Saskya Vandoorne and Melissa Bell from Paris, France.
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