France had vaccinated a mere 352 people by December 31, four days after starting its coronavirus jabs, according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data website. Only 80 people were inoculated in the 24 hours leading up to Saturday evening, according to French data website CovidTracker.
By December 27, the UK had vaccinated more than 940,000 people since becoming the first Western country to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech jab for emergency use on December 2 and starting inoculations six days later. Germany had inoculated more than 238,000 people by January 2, nine days after rolling out its vaccination programme.
The French vaccine programme started “very slowly” and the small number of people inoculated is “hard to defend” compared to France’s European neighbours, the country’s own National Academy of Medicine said in a statement on December 31.