As the largest vaccine rollout in history continues to vaccinate people around the globe, some nations have begun to slow in the number of people accepting the coronavirus vaccine. Whether it be anti-vaccination beliefs, lessening concern over the virus as lockdown eases, or other reasons for dodging a dose, officials across the world are turning to more inventive or strict approaches to increase vaccination rates.
French President Emmanuel Macron decided on the more aggressive approach, giving a live address on July 12 in which he stated that citizens will not be able to enter cafes, bars, and shopping centers without a vaccine passport.
Well, the message has certainly stirred the residents into action. Following the address, France has received record numbers of people booking their doses through the booking service Doctolib, with 926,000 requests received in a single day.
"Yesterday, 926,000 French people made an appointment on Doctolib to be vaccinated (1st dose). An absolute record" writes Doctolib on Twitter.
The successful resurgence of vaccination bookings comes after France began to ease restrictions and opened indoor dining in June. Macron considers the move a success, attributing the control of COVID-19 to the vaccination program.
“Thanks to the exceptional commitment of our caregivers, thanks to your civility to all, we have succeeded in controlling the epidemic and living once again,” said Macron in the address.
“Gradual and successful reopening of the months of May and June, and the deployment of an unprecedented vaccination plan allowed us to obtain undeniable results.”
As such, Macron – much like Britain's Boris Johnson – believes that COVID-19 is here to stay, and a collective vaccination effort is the way out of the pandemic. According to the President, no more lockdown restrictions will be in place and the French must now “live with the virus”.
While this may be a moderately popular view among world leaders currently, France is not quite as far ahead in vaccination rates as other nations. So far, almost 26 million people have received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, representing 38.54 percent of the population.
Comparatively, almost 35 million people in the UK have received both doses, representing 52.36 percent of the population and 66.4 percent of all adults. These figures are not yet enough to stave off COVID-19 entirely, as cases are continuing to rise in both nations, which is being attributed to the more aggressive Delta variant that is now the dominant strain in many areas. Scientists have affirmed that both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant, with Public Health England citing a 96 percent and 92 percent two-dose efficacy respectively.