“a form of vaccination obligation”, according to Olivier Véran

VACCINE PASS. At the end of the Health Defense Council held this Friday, December 17, Jean Castex announced that a bill to transform the health pass into a vaccination pass will be discussed in early 2022 in Parliament. Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, indicated that “the vaccination pass is a disguised form of vaccination obligation” this Saturday.

[Mise à jour le 18 décembre 2021 à 16h40] The day after the announcement by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, of the transformation of the health pass to a vaccination pass, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, was interviewed by the online media Brut, this Saturday. Asked about the difference between vaccination pass and compulsory vaccination, the Minister of Health indicated that “the vaccination pass is a disguised form of compulsory vaccination, but it is more effective than compulsory vaccination.” “Preventing people from going to bars, restaurants, places open to the public if they are not vaccinated is more effective than fining them 100 euros when they are caught in the street. once the idea is not to punish, sanction, ostracize, but to say ‘now we no longer have a choice’, we no longer hesitate because we cannot fill our hospitals, we cannot continue to live like that under the threat of waves of epidemics because five million French people still do not choose to protect themselves “, he added.

Prime Minister Jean Caxtex spoke on Friday, December 17, when the Omicron variant threatens to saturate hospital services in the coming weeks. The government has indicated that it wants to transform the health pass into a vaccination pass from the start of 2022. An important new measure since “from now on, only vaccination will be valid” in the new pass. A bill will be presented “at the beginning of January” to transform the health pass into a vaccination pass. This new measure was not filtered while we were waiting for a reduction in the time limits for the recall (which have in fact been reduced to 4 months) and recommendations rather than restrictions.

The schedule was not specified by Jean Castex, but the vaccination pass should be introduced as soon as possible, from the first months of the year 2022. Only one element was given by Jean Castex: the bill that will create the new pass will be offered to Parliament in January.

As soon as it comes into force, the vaccination pass will be available to all people with a complete vaccination schedule. To do this, you must have taken both doses, or one if you have already been infected with the coronavirus, and the booster dose if you are affected by the latter. For the time being, we have no further information, but details should be given by the government in the coming hours.

In Europe, some countries have already adopted the vaccine pass since the arrival of the fifth wave. Thus, this is the case in Austria since November 15 already, and in Germany, in certain places only (restaurants, bars, hairdressing salons and sports halls) where the test is no longer valid.

The vaccination pass will therefore be strictly reserved for vaccinated people, where the health pass was broader. To enter places subject to this pass (restaurants, places of culture, recreation, etc.), a negative test will no longer suffice: it will necessarily be necessary to have been vaccinated (or cured of the Covid) and to have received a booster dose. Regarding access to trains, “this must be clarified soon”, but “the working track” is also that the trains concerned by the health pass currently “are subject to this vaccination obligation”, according to a ministerial source.

With this measure, the government clearly aims to “put the strain on the unvaccinated” in the words of the Prime Minister, who judges that it is “no longer possible” to have 6 million unvaccinated in the country. During his speech, Jean Castex recalled the importance of vaccination and recall especially in the “speed race” against the coronavirus and the Omicron variant which “should be in the majority in the territory from the start of the year” , he said. In addition, he specified that this law should make it possible to “tighten the controls and the sanctions against the false pass”.

At the heart of concerns also, the rise of the Omicron variant, very contagious and which could be “dominant” in France from the start of 2022, according to Jean Castex. The Prime Minister recalled the importance of barrier gestures before the holidays by encouraging the French to “wear a mask, avoid hugs, regularly ventilate enclosed places”. With the end of year celebrations, the need to avoid large tables. Without wishing to quote “a precise number”, the Prime Minister clarified that “the fewer we are, the less risks we take.”

More than ten countries are already using the vaccination pass around the world. Recently, Sweden opted for the vaccination pass from December 1 for indoor gatherings of more than 100 people. A new measure which comes at a time when the country has one of the lowest incidence rates (197 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) in Europe. Since November 18, the Czech Republic also uses this system. To enter shops and restaurants, hotels, museums or sporting events, you must be vaccinated or cured of Covid-19. Even more stringent, Latvia, which announced that unvaccinated deputies have been suspended from their duties since November 15. A decision that should last at least until July 2022 and then will be reviewed every two months. Finally, Estonia, which combines technology and the vaccine passport. Indeed, the country had launched a digital “immune passport” in June 2021 for all employees in the country. Thus, once employees have arrived at their workplace, they must present their mobile phone to a terminal which analyzes their immune system in the face of Covid-19.