Criticism grows in France over slow vaccination drive

The French government faces criticism over the slow progress of its drive to vaccinate people against COVID-19, a problem compounded by the high levels of public skepticism about the campaign.

France on Sunday joined several other EU countries in launching vaccinations with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, focusing its initial efforts on elderly residents of care homes.

A resident of a retirement home receives a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine, in Loos, northern France, on December 28, 2020 (FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP)

But in the first three days of the campaign fewer than 100 people have been given the injection — compared to 42,000 so far in Germany — raising questions over the government’s cautious approach to vaccinating a largely skeptical population.

France’s strategy “is not suited to a situation that is so dangerous,” Axel Kahn, a prominent geneticist who leads the National League against Cancer tells Europe 1 radio.