France urges elderly people to get Covid booster as epidemic rebounds

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French authorities are calling on elderly people to get a fresh booster dose of the Covid vaccine after the number of infections spiked by 40 percent in the space of a week.

More than 50,000 people are testing positive each day, with hospitalisations also rising by a rate of 600 new patients every 24 hours.

As more than 50 departments witness soaring new cases, the government has appealed to elderly citizens to get a fourth dose of the vaccine. So far, only a quarter of eligible people have done so.

Even in nursing homes, which have organised vaccination campaigns, less than half of those eligible have agreed to the booster.

Figures from the Ministry of Health show that 19 percent of people aged 60 to 79 have been vaccinated with four shots. 

Meanwhile it’s people from this age group who are ending up in hospital, with eight out of 10 Covid patients aged over 60 years. 

The government has told people not to wait for new vaccines being released in the autumn, but to get boosted with existing shots right now.

The new vaccines are designed to be more effective against the sub-variants of the Omicron virus strain, which are responsible for the epidemic’s resurgence.

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