Some 3,000 unvaccinated French healthcare workers were suspended from their jobs on Wednesday on the first day of mandatory COVID-19 immunisation for these groups, health minister Olivier Véran announced on Thursday.

In an interview with RTL, Véran stressed that many of these suspensions “are only temporary” and also that this number represents a tiny fraction of the 2.7 million people for whom vaccination is now mandatory if they want to continue working in care services for the frail.

In addition, he noted that those suspended are not mostly health workers, but work in laundries and other support services in the centres.

In addition to these 3,000 suspensions, there were also “a few dozen” resignations on the first day of obligation.

The minister stressed that “we are a long way” from the figures of 200,000 to 300,000 that some had given for the number of health workers who might be absent from medical care or homes because they are refractory to vaccination.

Compulsory vaccination

The compulsory vaccination, established by an emergency law adopted at the beginning of August, stipulates that from 15 September the groups concerned must prove that they have received at least a first dose, and have the full schedule by 15 October.

At the end of last week, almost 95% of doctors had received at least one dose, and almost 90% of nursing home staff.

Véran also called on all those who receive the flu vaccine each year (between 17 and 18 million people) to come and have a third dose of covid administered.

“This third dose is necessary” because these people have a more fragile immune system, he said.

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