France’s slow roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine slammed as ‘state scandal’

France’s president met senior ministers on Monday as criticism grew over the low number of COVID-19 vaccinations.

President Emmanuel Macron called the health defense council meeting a day after scathingly comparing the pace of the roll-out to a “family stroll.”

The French National Academy of Medicine criticized the pace of the vaccine program. Leading geneticist Axel Kahn called the campaign a “disaster” while the president of the Grand Est region denounced what he described as “a state scandal.”

As of January 4, just over 500 have received the coronavirus vaccination. That is compared with more than 250,000 in Germany so far and more than one million in the UK, although inoculations did begin there earlier than in the European Union. The EU began vaccinating with Pfizer doses on December 27.

The French government has been forced to rethink its strategy and now healthcare workers aged 50 and over will immediately start getting the jab.

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