French Health Minister François Browne denounced the association’s “unfortunate message to caregivers”, which would “weaken our ability to respond” in the event of a new epidemic. The text has yet to be studied in the Senate.
On Thursday, the French National Assembly approved, in a first reading, a text to abolish the mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 for health care providers, contrary to the opinion of the government, which wanted to suspend it instead.
And 157 deputies voted in favor of the bill submitted by the representative of Guyana, Jean-Victor Castor, from the group that includes a communist majority, while 137 deputies voted against it.
French Health Minister François Brown denounced the association’s “unfortunate message to caregivers”, which “will weaken our ability to respond” in the event of a new epidemic. The text has yet to be studied in the Senate.
And the government announced its desire to return unvaccinated health care providers to their work, after an announcement issued by the Supreme National Authority for Health in this regard. According to ministerial instructions seen by AFP, they will be deemed acceptable “the day after” the publication of a decree expected on May 14.
Deputy Jean-Victor Castor said that was not enough. He said that “the decree only suspends matters, leaving the possibility for the government” to return to its previous practices.
The right-wing and far-right deputies, the independents, and the vast majority of the left-wing coalition deputies present, voted on Jean-Victor Castor’s text. Several members of parliament from the overseas territories took turns defending him.
“By preferring commentary to cancellation, you are reinforcing the health insecurity, which these French people cannot afford,” said the independent Guadeloupe MP Olivier Cerva, addressing the minister, “especially in the Overseas Territories”, where “we cannot deny ourselves any of health workers.”
“Rejecting vaccination is refusing science. You are turning your back on science,” said centrist MP Philippe Vigier. Fellow presidential majority member Frederic Vallotto (R) criticized a text that would “reinforce anti-vaccine sentiment”. “Do not deprive us of protection,” François Brown told the deputies in vain.
“I reiterate the respect we hold for scientists and for vaccination,” said National Secretary of the Communist Party Fabian Roussel, calling for the abolition of mandatory vaccination, so that any new immunization obligation passes through Parliament, and is not approved by decree.
Mandatory vaccination has caused violence in the French West Indies, which is characterized by high poverty, and where the population has been extremely reluctant to receive the vaccine.