The French National Academy of Medicine has criticized the “very slow” start of the coronavirus vaccination campaign as compared to other European countries, and asked the government to speed up the vaccination program.

In a press release, the academy created by an ordinance in 1820 to respond to government requests on all matters relating to public health, noted there has been gradual implementation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine campaign that began from Dec 27.

This was owing to the “extreme caution” and “excessive precautions” exercised by the authorities by “reserving sufficient time for the collection of consent, searching for possible contraindications [underlying medical condition that could turn harmful with vaccination] and keeping the patient under observation for a minimum period of 15 minutes after the injection to ensure the absence of early adverse effects.”

As a result, less than 100 people were vaccinated in three days in France in a campaign that “seems to lack determination.” In comparison, at least 78,000 people received the anti-COVID-19 jab in Germany and 9,803 in Italy.

In the next eight weeks, the academy noted, nearly a third of the vulnerable and high risk French population must be vaccinated and the immunization campaign “must be exemplary.”

To ensure that the success of the campaign is not compromised, it recommended shortening and simplifying the vaccination procedures, giving priority to those departments with the highest cases, ensuring full transparency on the availability status of vaccine stocks and restoring public confidence.

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