Mass vaccination center in France forced to close after just 58 people showed up

Mass vaccination center in France forced to close after just 58 people showed up


A closed vaccination center is pictured in Nice, France on April 18.  This facility closed on April 17 due to a lack of vaccine candidates.
A closed vaccination center is pictured in Nice, France on April 18. This facility closed on April 17 due to a lack of vaccine candidates. Valery Hache / AFP / Getty Images

A mass vaccination center in the city of Nice, in the south of France, was forced to close early this weekend after 58 people came for 4000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a spokesperson for the Alpes-Maritimes regional police told CNN.

Doses of the vaccine have been offered to people over 55 who work in high-risk Covid-19 jobs such as teachers, police, prison guards, but the center was forced to close for just a few hours on Saturday after opening.

The regional police department said it hopes to reopen the center within the next two weeks to allow those who are eligible to show up.

A spokeswoman for the nearby town of Grasse said there were 3,000 teachers in the Alpes-Maritimes region who are over 55 and some of them had already received their first dose which could explain the low participation rate.

However, Anne Frackowiak-Jacobs, a senior official in Grasse, told French television France 3 that people turned around when they learned it was AstraZeneca.

On Monday, French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal lamented the center’s closure.

“We need to build confidence in this vaccine, there is a lot of work to be done to make this happen,” Attal told Europe 1.

He added that last week France was vaccinated between 65,000 at 70,000 people per day with doses of AstraZeneca.

The deployment of the vaccine in France has accelerated in recent months, with more than 12 million people having received at least one dose.

The country aims to immunize 20 million people by May 15.

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