Facing shortages, French medical centres forced to delay Covid-19 vaccinations

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Nearly 2 million people in France have received a first injection of the Covid-19 vaccine so far, and over 350,000 have received their second shot, the health ministry said Tuesday. But many vaccination centres do not have enough doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab to meet demand and appointments in the coming weeks are scarce.

A vaccination centre near Paris has only been reaching about a third of its capacity due to a shortage in supplies and consequent delays in Covid-19 vaccination deliveries.

“It’s been very difficult, because appointment slots filled very quickly, and we had to stop taking reservations as soon as we found out there was a problem with the supplies,” said Alain Assouline, a doctor at the centre.

Those who did manage to get an appointment spent hours phoning or refreshing the reservation web pages.

“I’m stubborn, I was determined. And then suddenly it worked. I was really lucky,” one woman at the centre said.

The French government is now counting on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to speed up the programme and says France is on track to vaccinate 3.5-4 million people by the end of February.

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