France rushes to get vaccinated after president’s warning

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PARIS —
Nearly 1 million people in France made vaccine appointments in a single day, after the president cranked up pressure on everyone to get vaccinated to save summer vacation and the French economy.

An app that centralizes France’s vaccine and other medical appointments, Doctolib, announced Tuesday morning that 926,000 people had made appointments Monday, a daily record since the country rolled out coronavirus vaccines in December. People under age 35 made up 65% of the new appointments.

President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday that vaccination would be obligatory for all health care workers by Sept. 15, and held out the possibility of extending the requirement to other parts of the population.

With infections on the rise again around France, expectations had mounted in recent days that Macron would announce some kind of vaccination requirement, driving new demand for appointments.

Around 41% of the French population has been fully vaccinated, though the pace of vaccination waned as summer vacations approached.

Health Minister Olivier Veran welcomed the renewed vaccine interest, saying on BFM television Tuesday: “That’s thousands of lives saved.”

More than 111,000 people with the virus have died in France.

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