French officials promote vaccinations amid spike in COVID-19 cases

French officials are encouraging their public to get vaccinated amid surging cases of the coronavirus and the emergence of the omicron variant.

In an interview with French radio station France Blue, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that 90 percent of the population has had at least one dose of the vaccine, but there needs to be follow through.

“People can celebrate Christmas normally, but we must respect the rules … and get vaccinated,” Castex said Friday, according to The Associated Press

France has had a 36 percent jump in daily new cases this week compared to the previous one, with an average of 44,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, according to the wire service. 

Officials are also encouraging citizens to get the booster shot if applicable. 

A report from Pfizer and BioNTech released this week showed that a booster of the companies’ vaccine has proven to be effective combatting the omicron variant, which has spread in Europe. The two-shot regimen did not provide robust protection, but may prevent severe disease, according to the makers. 

The French government implemented new COVID-19 restrictions on Monday by shutting down nightclubs and imposing more social distancing rules until after the New Year.

However, Castex said he is hopeful France can make it through the holiday season without more restrictions due to its high vaccination rate, according to the AP.

The country is also looking to allow children as young as five to get the coronavirus vaccine. Starting Dec. 15, children from the ages of 12 to 17 with health complications will start getting vaccinated. 

Tags COVID-19 vaccine

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