French Health Minister Sees Latest Covid Wave Peaking This Week

Contaminations in France’s latest Covid-19 wave could peak as early as this week, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.

This means that the number of patients admitted to intensive care units may be at a high in two weeks’ time and close to the peak of the pandemic’s first wave a year ago, Veran said Monday in an interview with TF1 TV channel.

The pace of vaccinations suggests that all those who want a shot will have received one by early summer, after which the government will have to convince vaccine-skeptics of receiving their jabs, Veran said. French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged that all willing adults will be vaccinated by the end of the summer.

The country has administered almost 9.3 million first doses of vaccine by April 4, while 3.13 million people have received a second dose, according to data released by French health authorities.

A series of polls showed that a majority of French people were reluctant to get vaccinated when the campaign started at the end of last year. The trend has reversed since then, although doubts about the safety of AstraZeneca Plc.’s vaccine have prompted some to cancel their appointments to wait for another shot, such as those developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

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