PARIS (Reuters) - French dentists and vets should be allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccination injections as France’s supply of doses will increase greatly next month, the health authority said on Friday.
The Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) said in a statement that the health ministry had asked it to recommend how to bring new categories of health staff into the vaccination campaign urgently.
“The growing supply of doses will allow vaccination at a larger scale from April and will require the mobilisation of a greater number of competent professionals to quickly vaccinate the relevant people,” the HAS said.
Dentists and pharmacists should be authorised to give shots in vaccination centres as well as in their own surgeries, while in vaccination centres medical students, lab technicians, veterinarians and certain other health professionals should also be authorised to administer the vaccines, the HAS said.
Widening roles in this way would add about 250,000 medical staff to the vaccination drive.
So far, France’s main challenge has been the supply of doses, not the availability of medical staff. But the government has said it expects a major boost in vaccine supplies from April.
About 7.1 million people, or about 11% of the French population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and just over 4% have been fully vaccinated.
The government aims to vaccinate 10 million people by mid-April, 20 million by mid-May and 30 million by the summer.
Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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