Covid-19 vaccination will be mandatory for medical and care staff from Wednesday in France, a measure that affects 2.7 million people and faces resistance in a minority.
This “Authoritarian order will generate tensions and chaos”, affirmed Tuesday the person in charge of Health of the CGT union, Mireille Stivala, during a manifestation of few hundred people before the ministry of the branch.
Hospital workers, nursing homes and life assistants, among others, may as of Wednesday be suspended from employment and salary, if they did not receive at least one dose.
The French President, the Liberal Emmanuel Macron, set the deadline of September 15 two months ago and, according to the authorities, 12% of hospital and nursing home employees had not yet been vaccinated a week ago.
The unions warn of possible problems if they are not allowed to exercise. “We cannot afford to lose more people”, stressed Stivala, who warned about possible “bed closures” and worse care.
The firmness of the French executive, whose Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced “systematic controls”, led some of the workers affected, not yet immunized, to take the step.
Cornellia, 47, a nurse in the psychiatry unit at a Paris hospital, was vaccinated after her vacation, “under duress”. “We cannot run out of salary,” she added.
Nathalie Della Giustina, a 47-year-old psychologist working in eastern France, instead refuses to “play Russian roulette” with her health. “Today I chose my health, although I also like my job”, she added.
The woman explained that her boss already told her that she will not be able to work as of Wednesday and that she will be able to take the remaining vacation days first. “But he told me that in two months the dismissal will come,” she explained.
A growing number of countries such as Greece, Italy, Hungary, Australia, Canada and the Gambia, among others, impose vaccination for covid-19 in certain sectors such as health, tourism or administration.
More than 115,600 people lost their lives in France due to COVID-19, according to health authorities. Almost 70% of the population completed their immunization schedule, that is, about 46.7 million people.
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