Weekly French vaccination thread.
Headline: “France overtakes UK in daily rate of first vax doses shock….”
Yes, it's true, at least over the last few days.
Context is needed, however. Just as the Daily Mail or Daily Express always provide don’t they? 1/12
If you include 1st and 2nd doses, the UK is still well ahead of France, averaging over 500,000 jabs a day, according to official UKG figures.
However, France in the last 4 days has excelled itself with over 1.4m total doses (350,000 a day.) and 1.1m 1st jabs (275,000 a day). 2/12
In terms of 1st doses alone, France HAS overtaken Britain, which has been averaging 235,000 a day, falling to 153,823 on 1 April.
This fall in the UKG was anticipated as hundreds of thousands of 2nd jabs came due. Britain is now “2nd-jabbing” at around 270,000 a day.
All the same, the figures illustrate the huge progress made by the French vaccine rollout (since doses have become more plentiful in the EU supply scheme). France is now using 86% of its doses (by my calculation) compared to 50% in Jan/early Feb. 4/12
UK media and French opposition pols have yet to spot this acceleration. They still speak of a glacial French roll-out. It was. It is no longer.
More acceleration is coming – and needed if Macron is to open up Fr. from 15 May and end the “lockdown light” imposed from today. 5/12
Here are some stats.
In the last week, France has given just short of 2m jabs, including 1.5m first jabs. The total of 1st doses is now just over 9m and 2nd doses 3m. Even with a lull for the Easter weekend, Fr. should hit its 15 April target of 10m 1st doses a week early
Another myth is being busted. France is now using 82% of AstraZeneca doses (2.4m out of 2.9m). Despite the ban on AZ for under-55’s, the “Oxford vaccine” is NOT being rejected widely in France. The main limit on AZ use is AZ’s own sad performance in making doses for the EU.
Interesting to see, by the by, that the much-mocked European concerns about possible links between the AZ vaccine and and very, very rare kinds of blood clots are no longer being entirely dismissed in Britain. 8/12

Looking ahead.
In the month of April, France expects 12.2 m doses from the EU scheme – Pfizer 7.7m, AZ 3m, Moderna 900,000 and J&J 600,000. With vast amounts of 2nd doses now also due in France (maybe 4,000,000 in April), this should allow circa 8m 1st doses to be given. 9/12
So France should speed up ,moren in the coming weeks, with big vaccinodromes and mobilisation of vets, soldiers, med students etc. The aim is 10m 1st doses by April 15 (almost reached); 20m by May 15 (doable); and 30m by 15 June (also doable).
What do those targets mean?
France has roughly 50m adults. If 80% accept a vax (despite what they tell pollsters), that’s 40m people. Half will be 1st-vaxxed by the middle of next month.
If herd immunity is reached at 70%, that’s 35m people – just over what France hopes to Ist vaccinate by mid-June. 11/12
In theory, as the vax rate and “first vaxxed” totals climb, Covid cases (now averaging nearly 50,000 a day) should fall rapidly.
It was on this basis that Macron promised that France would start to open up by mid-May.
It’s a hazardous promise. It’s not an impossible one.

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More from @john_lichfield

31 Mar
April will be the cruellest month. That, in effect, is Macron's warning but also promise to France tonight. One more big effort in the next month and the vax campaign will then start to kick in and save us.
Present restrictions are not enough. We will lose control unless we act. But no panic. For next month a big new effort is necessary.
Reinforcements for intensive care. Icu already lifted from 5,000 beds 70 7,000 will be extended to 10,000. Existing lockdown light in 19 départements will be extended from Saturday to all metropolitan France.
Read 11 tweets
31 Mar
Presdt Macron is addressing the nation in 40 minutes or so. What I understand is – and this may not be gospel – he will announce an extension of the existing “lockdown light” covering 19 départements to whole of France. In other words, Easter travel is cancelled for everyone. 1/3
Schools may close for almost a month, by extending the school holidays. From 26 April, they will apparently resume for primary and nursery schools but will go on line for colleges and lycées until 3 May. Unemployment pay will be given to parents who have to stay at home 2/3
Intensive care capacity to be boosted by mobilising medical and nursing students and retired health workers. Vaccination programme to be accelerated so that the 60-plus are eligible for jabs in mid-April and 50-plus in mid-May. 3/3
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
Weekly French Covid thread.
Moment of truth for Macron when he addresses the nation at 8pm tonight (for 1st time since he announced a 2nd lockdown on 28 Oct). Will he abandon the jumble of partial, regional lockdowns and go for full “confinement” as UK variant runs riot? 1/12
The figures are grim – worse than the start of Oct lockdown (see chart by @nicolasberrod). The IC population is 5,072 - and 3,036 then. But stats are regionally mixed. Parts of Paris area have an incidence rate of over 1,000. Other places are fine. 2/12
Macron has been determined since May to keep schools open. Can he continue to do so, when many schools are having to close as Covid cases break out? In greater Paris the overall incidence rate is 644 (cases per 1,000 pop over 7 days) Among 15-19-yr-olds it’s 850. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
27 Mar
Weekly French vaccination thread

Good news, v good news, on the French vaccine programme. Bad news is also available, including a devastating surge of the UK Covid variant.
But it is NO LONGER TRUE to say, as much media habitually says, that Fr. vax prog is shambolic etc 1/12
Since I was one of the first to complain in boring detail about the poor vax numbers in France 2 months ago, I am delighted to be able to point to the extraordinary jab tally of the last 3 days. Over 1,000,000 doses were given in 72hrs, including 923,820 1st vaccinations. 2/12
The daily average of shots given in France for the last 3 days was 351,581. This is still a long way behind the daily peaks achieved in the UK but not so far behind the current UK daily av. of around 570,000. France should continue to improve in the weeks ahead. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
25 Mar
Grim news at the weekly French Covid press conference. There were 45,000 new cases in France today – a 50% jump on the current daily average. Three new départements will go into “lockdown lite” from tomorrow: Nièvre, Rhône and Aube. 1 /4
The heath minister Olivier Véran says the Paris area, the north (Hauts-de-France) and the Nice-Cannes area are worst effected by this new surge in cases caused almost entirely by the UK variant of Covid-19. The situation in these areas, is “extremely worrying”, he says. 2/4
Over 1,400 acute care beds are now occupied in Ile de France (greater Paris). Emergency effort is under way to lift the number available (usually 1,000) to 2,250 by mobilising all public and private health resources. Up to 80% of scheduled operations will have to be postponed 3/4
Read 4 tweets
24 Mar
Weekly French Covid thread

President Macron has bet his Covid policy - and his chances of re-election - on a double or quits gamble. Having refused a 3rd lock down 2 months ago, he has played for time with a “lockdown lite” covering a third of the French population of 66m 1/12
Is it a lockdown? Can it work? For many the new rules in 16 départements in Paris area, N. Normandy, N.W. France and Alpes Maritimes represent little change. Non-essential shops are closed. Exercise before curfew is unlimited. More office workers are meant to work from home. 2/12
The aim is to hold back UK variant of C19 until vaccination takes effect. In 1st week, acute cases have risen (but not soared) to 4,634, approaching the 4,919 (16 Nov) peak of the 2nd Lockdown. Cases jumped to an av. 29, 280 a day. They halved yesterday but that was a blip 3/12
Read 12 tweets

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