PARIS, France: Children ages 5 to 11 years are being vaccinated throughout France, even as the country is in the midst of a surge in new infections caused by the Omicron variant.
Officials have said the country is witnessing the sharpest increases in daily Covid cases
since the coronavirus disease struck. Officials noted that the government is working to prevent another nationwide lockdown.
Masked children were seen throughout the country queuing up for the first day of vaccinations on December 22.
“It is a little weird. I heard about this on TV, and now I’m here,” eight-year-old Dimitri Marck stated, as quoted by ABC News.
Beginning in mid-December, France began vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 who had a variety of health risks, and have now expanded the program for all children those ages.
It was reported in early December that over 1,000 in every 100,000 children in France aged 6-10 were infected with Covid, according to government figures.
Current figures show 145 children remain hospitalized suffering from severe illness due to COVID-19, with 27 children being treated in intensive care units, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on December 22.
Speaking on December 22, Minister of Health Olivier Vran said he expects the Omicron virus to have spread throughout much of the population by the last week of December. However, officials remain optimistic that boosting inoculations would reduce the burden on French hospitals, which currently see 60 percent of beds occupied by Covid patients.