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France parliament approves COVID-19 vaccination bill

By Esther Kalu

France’s parliament has approved President, Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a vaccine pass to help curb the spread of the Omicron variant in the country after several debate for its disapproval.

The Covid-19 vaccination bill was necessitated as a result of a tumultuous debate spurred by Macron’s comments that he wanted to “piss off” the unvaccinated to the point where they would have no other choice but to get jabbed for the vaccine.

Earlier this week, Macron stated that he wanted to make the lives of those refusing the COVID-19 vaccine so complicated by squeezing them out of public places that they would end up getting jabbed.

Macron’s coarse language barely three months before a presidential election was widely seen as a politically calculated, tapping into a intensifying public frustration against the unvaccinated.

However, despite the reactions which trailed Macron’s comment, Lawmakers in the lower house were said to have passed draft legislation including the vaccine pass shortly after an all-night session by a margin of 214 to 93 and many of those who voted against the bill were from the far-right or left-wingers.

According to France lawmakers, the legislation will go to the Senate before a final vote in the National Assembly, adding that the vaccine pass rules will apply to over 16 years and not over 12 years as the government had initially proposed.

Also, they noted that people France have for several months had to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter venues such as cinemas and cafes and use trains. But with Delta and Omicron variant infections surging, the government decided to drop the test option in the new bill.

As gathered, France data showed that more than 90% of people over-12 years old have received at least two doses, while a record number of people since Oct. 1 only received a first shot on Wednesday after Macron’s comments were published.

Since the Omicron variant, France has registered a record of more than 332,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, and a further 246 COVID deaths in hospitals.

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