Quarter of vaccine centres in Paris region to close over summer holidays

Quarter of vaccine centres in Paris region to close over summer holidays
The Stade de France vaccination centre will remain open this summer. Photo: Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP
A quarter of Covid-19 vaccination sites in the Paris region will close during July and August, the regional health authority told AFP on Tuesday, anticipating a fall in demand as Parisians head off on holiday.

All the sites in Seine-Saint-Denis are set to remain open, including the large vaccinodrome at the Stade de France, according to France Info but other sites in the Île-de-France region will close

All of France’s regional health authorities have been told to prepare a “continuity plan”, in consultation with local mayors and prefects, to ensure vaccinations continue throughout the summer period, France Info reported.

Vaccination rates could fall as both patients and health workers go on holiday, and local officials may want to use venues for other purposes.

France’s next vaccine target was to give 40 million people at least one dose by July 15th, with all adults having been offered a vaccine by the end of the summer.

However there are fears that the traditional French long summer holiday – which sees many cities virtually empty in August – will hamper this target.

In a bid to counter this, the government has increased flexibility around the second vaccine dose, which can now be booked between three and seven weeks after the first, with the health minister appealing to people to fit in their jabs around their holidays.

In Île-de-France, vaccination rates are set to continue at 82 percent capacity, with 77 percent of centres remaining open, according to the Agence Régionale de Santé.

Vaccinations capacity will be maintained in certain départments at a higher rate than others, as per France Info – while all centres in Seine-Saint-Denis will continue to administer jabs, 85 percent of sites in Val-de-Marne and Val-d’Oise will remain open, 73 percent in Essonne, 70 percent in Paris, 62 percent in Hauts-de-Seine, and only 42 percent in Yvelines.

Health authorities added that they will continue with campaigns to reach out to certain groups including students and pregnant women and vulnerable populations such as the homeless and migrant workers. Staff will also be operating increased testing centres, including a highway service stations, campsites and leisure centres.

On Monday, health minister Olivier Véran again encouraged people to get their jabs before the summer break – 300,000 slots were still available across the country for the coming week, he said on Twitter.

While the government has advised people to book their second jab in the same vaccination centre as their first dose if possible, vaccine deliveries could be stepped up in holiday destinations this summer.

“We must anticipate, in our fellow citizens’ holiday destinations, the possibility of reinforcing opportunities to vaccinate them, notably but not only in terms of second doses,” Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament in May.

All adults, as well as children from the age of 12, are currently eligible to receive a Covid vaccine in France.

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