AFP piece on French Senate vote TRANSLATED

Covid-19: the Senate says no to compulsory vaccination

Published on : 10/13/2021


The Senate dominated by the right-wing opposition on Wednesday rejected a bill aimed at establishing compulsory vaccination for all against Covid-19, defended by the socialist group which found itself isolated on this position.

Socialist parliamentarians have been advocating since the summer “the progressive obligation of universal vaccination” against this virus. The text, examined at first reading within the framework of a parliamentary “niche” of the group, intended to supplement the article of the public health code relating to the obligation of diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations to add vaccination against Covid- 19.

The leader of the socialist senators Patrick Kanner defended the choice of “clarity” and “transparency”, believing that with the health pass, the government “demanded from the French an obligation of indirect vaccination”.

“We are missing about 9 million people to be immunized” to achieve collective immunity, “and it is not the health pass, whose effects are running out of steam, that will allow us to achieve this,” said the Minister. PS rapporteur Bernard Jomier, while the extension of this health pass was ratified a few hours earlier in the Council of Ministers.

Started in peace, the debate ignited when the senator LR Sylviane Noël affirmed that “to make obligatory the administration of genetic vaccines of which the experimental phase is still in progress, is politically reckless and morally condemnable”.

“I can not let pass the implication on the experimental and uncontrolled character of these vaccines”, reacted the Secretary of State Adrien Taquet, while Mr. Jomier denounced an argument relayed by the “antivax”.

“Today I am ashamed”, declared Alain Milon (LR), deeming “completely inadmissible” the “anti-vaccine” remarks made by Mrs. Noël. “I am repelled”, added René-Paul Savary (LR), for whom “the question of vaccination does not arise”.

The executive, which has ruled out compulsory vaccination in the general population, has made the health pass a pivot of its anti-Covid strategy. Since mid-September, however, vaccination has been compulsory for 2.7 million health professionals.

“I sincerely think that if we had made the choice in July of a generalized vaccination obligation, we would have today the same vaccination coverage rates, because the difficulties would have been the same to reach the most distant”, a affirmed the centrist Nadia Sollogoub, the majority of the other speakers also defending at this stage, like the minister, “the incentive rather than the obligation”.

The Senate was also to reject in the early evening a second text carried by the Socialist senators, aimed at facilitating the issuance of a temporary residence permit to young foreigners entrusted to the service of social assistance to children.

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