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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

Jul 12, 2021 - Health

Republicans push to ban "discrimination" against unvaccinated people

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

State Republican lawmakers around the country are pushing bills — at least one of which has become law — that would give unvaccinated people the same protections as those surrounding race, gender and religion.

Why it matters: These bills would tie the hands of private businesses that want to protect their employees and customers. But they also show how deep into the political psyche resistance to coronavirus vaccine requirements has become, and how vaccination status has rapidly become a marker of identity.

Jul 12, 2021 - Health

Most unvaccinated people have low incomes

Data: U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey; Note: Does not include respondents who didn't report income; Chart: Axios Visuals

More than half of unvaccinated Americans live in households that make less than $50,000 annually, according to the latest Census Bureau data.

Why it matters: Making it easier for the working poor to get the COVID-19 vaccine, without dinging their already-low incomes, could help boost the country's vaccination rates.

Updated Jul 12, 2021 - World

Israel offers COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as Delta variant spreads

A health care worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Israel, on July 5. Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Israel on Monday will begin offering a third dose of Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine as a booster shot for people with weakened immune systems, according to the Times of Israel.

Why it matters: It's one of the first countries to offer booster shots to bolster protection against the rapidly spreading Delta variant. The Israeli Health Ministry is still determining whether an extra shot should be offered to the general public.

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