French Vaccine Skepticism Wanes as Concern Over Pandemic Rises

The French are increasingly willing to get the Covid-19 shot as the alarming spread of the coronavirus overcomes their skepticism of a vaccine.

The share of the population that plans to get vaccinated has increased to 47%, up 9 points from a week earlier, according to an Elabe survey on Wednesday. While vaccine resistance is a “French specificity,” acceptance of the Covid shot is growing, Prime Minister Jean Castex said in response to Senate questions.

Responding to criticism for a slow start to its vaccination campaign, Castex said the pace is being stepped up. The country had inoculated almost 190,000 people as of Tuesday.

The challenge “is to win the acceptance of as many of our fellow citizens as possible, because that’s not a given,” Castex said. “This adherence is growing by the week.”

The number of French who don’t plan to get the shot fell by 5 points to 40%, while the undecided decreased by 4 points to 13%, according to the Elabe survey for BFM TV. The pollster questioned 1,003 people via Internet on Jan. 12 and 13, with a margin of error of between 2.2 and 3.1 points.

French concern about the pandemic is on the rise, with those saying they’re worried about increasing spread rising 5 points to 78%, while 83% expect the government to announce a third lockdown in coming weeks. The seven-day rolling average of new Covid cases in France stood at about 18,000 as of Tuesday, rising from about 15,000 a week earlier.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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