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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / POOL / AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ordered all French health care workers to get fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Sept.15, amid a rise of new infections, driven largely by the Delta variant, AP reports.

The big picture: Macron also mandated special COVID-19 passes for anyone wanting to go to restaurants, shopping malls or hospitals or intending to travel via trains or planes.

  • The passes are only available to people who are fully vaccinated, have a recent negative virus test or who have recently recovered from COVID-19, per AP.

By the numbers: About 40% of country's population is fully vaccinated.

  • France has recorded more than 5.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 111,540 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

What he's saying: “The country is facing a strong resumption of the epidemic touching all our territory,” Macron said in a televised address, per AP.

  • “The equation is simple. The more we vaccinate, the less space we leave this virus to circulate," he added.
  • “You’ve understood — vaccination is not immediately obligatory for everyone, but we’re going to extend the health pass to the maximum, in order to push a maximum of you to go and get vaccinated."
  • Macron said he would declare another medical state of emergency, which will give authorities more freedom to impose restrictions starting Tuesday.

Of note: "In a first sign that the new set of measures might be convincing more to get vaccinated, Doctolib, the website where many go to book their COVID jab, was swamped after Macron's speech," Reuters writes.

France's directive for health care workers follows similar moves by other European countries, AP notes.

  • Earlier Monday, Greece said health care workers who refuse to get vaccinated will be suspended.
  • Italy also requires health workers and pharmacists get the COVID vaccine or face suspension or a salary cut, according to AP.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, said last week that England will lift mask requirements and social distancing rules later this month amid rising coronavirus cases.

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Mississippi reports rise in COVID-19 deaths among pregnant women

Dr. Thomas Dobbs speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2020. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

At least eight pregnant women in Mississippi, who weren't fully vaccinated, have died of COVID-19 since late July, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The eight pregnant women who have died from the virus more than doubles the state's pandemic total in just two months.

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

CDC: Moderna vaccine most effective against hospitalization in U.S.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Overall healthy adults with the Moderna COVID vaccine had 93% vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization over five months compared to those with 88% protection with Pfizer and 71% from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a new report out Friday from the CDC shows.

Why it matters: The report comes as the Food and Drug Administrations meets Friday to consider whether to endorse a contentious plan for booster shots among the fully vaccinated.

Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates

Photo: Paul Bersebach, MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A majority of school boards in Kentucky voted in favor of mask mandates, according to the Kentucky School Board Association.

Why it matters: A week ago, Kentucky's Republican-dominated legislature voted to revoke a statewide mask mandate in public schools that was meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision on masks would instead be left up to individual districts.

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