Around 3,000 health sector workers in France were suspended after failing to comply with the government’s obligation to get vaccinated for covid-19, Health Minister Olivier Véran told RTL radio station on Thursday.
Employees missed the Sept. 15 deadline to get vaccinated, introduced by the government in July.
In the city of Nice, in the south of the country, 320 University Hospital employees were suspended on Wednesday and another 100 are still in the review phase of their status, according to the head of relations with the center’s media, Isabelle, told Citizen Free Press Battarel.
Health personnel have submitted a dozen resignations for this policy, but Véran assures that there has been “no chaos” derived from the resignations.
On July 12, the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced that all workers in the health sector, including those in hospitals, nursing homes and home care, must be fully vaccinated for covid-19 or risk being suspended or laid off as of September 15.
There are some 2.7 million health workers in the country.
Macron’s move is part of a broad set of measures to encourage vaccination after the rate of vaccination slowed during the summer.
Since August, any adult who does not have a “green pass” showing vaccination status or a recent negative test cannot enter bars and cafeterias, or travel long distances by train.
Most of the health workers suspended so far are support personnel, Véran said, adding that “a large number of the suspensions are only temporary.”
“Many of them decided to get vaccinated when they saw that the obligation was a reality,” he said.
Véran added that the most important thing is that “all people in contact with vulnerable French people or the elderly get vaccinated from now on.”
Almost two-thirds of the French population are fully vaccinated, and another 10% have received at least one dose.
The seven-day incidence of the coronavirus in the country fell below 100 positive cases per 100,000 people on Wednesday for the first time since July 18, according to data from the public health agency.
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