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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

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

In-N-Out refuses to follow San Francisco's vaccine mandate

Photo: James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images

The California burger chain In-N-Out is refusing to follow San Francisco's vaccination mandate, which requires restaurants to check for customers' proof of vaccination to dine indoors, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: The San Francisco Public Health Department has had to remind employees multiple times to check for proof of vaccination since September, ultimately resulting in the city's only In-N-Out location getting shut down on Oct. 14. It is the only time the agency has ordered a restaurant's closure over a mandate violation, officials told the Post.

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

New York City announces COVID vaccine mandate for all public workers

A health care worker administering a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a student in Staten Island in August. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced an expanded COVID-19 vaccine mandate that covers all of the city's public employees, including police officers and firefighters.

Why it matters: Around 71% of city workers have already satisfied the mandate by receiving at least one dose. The remaining 46,000 unvaccinated employees will have to receive their first dose by Oct. 29 or will risk being placed on unpaid leave until they can show proof of a first dose, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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