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After Israel, France to give COVID boosters to elderly, vulnerable

Macron says 3rd dose will be available from September for select groups, as his country joins others in administering additional shots

A man receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by medical staff at a vaccination center in Anglet, southwestern France, July 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
A man receives a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by medical staff at a vaccination center in Anglet, southwestern France, July 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

PARIS — France will offer COVID booster shots to the elderly and vulnerable from September, joining a growing list of countries offering third vaccine shots to fight new virus variants, French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

“Yes, we will probably need a third dose, not for everyone straight away but at any rate for the elderly and the most vulnerable,” Macron said in the latest in his series of explanatory videos on the government’s vaccination strategy.

He confirmed that the booster shots would be available from September.

Last month he had already revealed plans for a booster campaign, saying it would target those who had been the first to get a shot earlier this year — mostly people over 80 or with serious health conditions.

Currently, third vaccine shots are only available to people with weakened immune systems.

Macron’s statement comes a day after the World Health Organization called on all nations to halt booster shots until at least the end of September to help ease the drastic inequity in dose distribution between rich and poor nations.

Israel has already begun administering booster shots to over-60s and Germany last week said it too would start offering top-up shots from September. Britain is also planning to do so.

France’s health ministry said on Tuesday that the exact list of those who would be eligible for a booster shot would be decided next week.

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