France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers

Thousands of health workers in France who did not get vaccinated against Covid-19 ahead of a deadline this week have been suspended without pay, the health minister has said.

“Some 3,000 suspensions were notified yesterday to employees at health centres and clinics who have not yet been vaccinated,” Olivier Veran told RTL radio. “Several dozens” had turned in their resignations rather than take vaccines, he added.

That compares with 2.7 million health workers overall, Veran said, adding that “continued healthcare is assured”.

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France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, in July gave staff at hospitals, retirement home workers and the fire service an ultimatum to get at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by 15 September, or face unpaid suspension.

Many nurses in particular have been reluctant to get vaccinated, citing safety or efficacy concerns, posing the risk that France’s vaccination drive could stall, according to AFP.

France’s national public health agency estimated last week that roughly 12% of hospital staff and about 6% of doctors in private practices have yet to be vaccinated.

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