Paris, Nov 9 (EFE).- President Emmanuel Macron announced Tuesday that people over the age of 65 and others at increased risk of infection will be required to get a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine to be able to renew the health pass required to enter most public places in France.
The booster requirement will take effect Dec. 15, Macron said in a televised address.
Urging France’s 6 million vaccine holdouts to get the shot, he justified mandating boosters in light of the 40 percent increase in Covid-19 cases over the last week.
“That figure, joined with the growth in hospitalizations, is an alarm bell,” the president said. “The fifth wave has started in Europe.”
He referred to data from the World Health Organization showing that the United Kingdom and Germany are reporting 30,000 new Covid-19 cases daily.
“We have not finished with the pandemic,” Macron said.
Besides the booster mandate for over-65s, starting next month, the government will offer third doses to people in the 50-64 age group, he said, noting that more than 80 percent of Covid-19 patients in hospital intensive care units are over 50.
The president said that other pandemic measures, such as social distancing, “will be rigorously observed,” while acknowledging “how difficult” it is to continue the restrictions.
“We will have to live with the virus until the global population in its entirety is immunized,” Macron said. EFE atc/dr