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Coronavirus: France to broaden vaccinations as new COVID-19 variant is found

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France is broadening its COVID-19 vaccination rollout to firemen and aid workers aged over 50, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

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“We are going to amplify, accelerate and simplify our vaccination strategy,” Veran told RTL radio.

France has seen about a dozen cases of the more contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

Veran also told RTL radio that the high level of coronavirus infections in France made easing current COVID-19 related restrictions unlikely.

Martin Hirsch, director general of the Paris hospitals system, confirmed that the new variant of the COVID virus is present in Paris, while speaking to France 2 television on Tuesday.

France on Monday accelerated its COVID-19 vaccination of medical staff in hospitals after being criticized for a slow initial start in one of the most vaccine-skeptical countries in the world.

Read more: Coronavirus: French minister defends slow start to COVID-19 vaccination campaign

On Friday, the French health ministry reported 19,348 new coronavirus infections, far from the government’s target of less than 5,000 daily additional infections.

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