France has received its first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Coronavirus vaccine.
The vaccine was delivered early Saturday at the central pharmacy of the Paris hospital system.
After more than 62,000 deaths from Covid-19 in France, vaccines will start with people in two nursing homes on Sunday, the same day the rest of the EU begins vaccination.
A refrigerated truck brought the roughly 19,500 doses from Pfizer’s factory in Puurs, northeast Belgium, to Paris, the capital’s APHP hospital authority said, and pharmacy chief Franck Huet called it a “historic” moment. in the pandemic.
After repackaging in Paris, the vaccines will be delivered to a long-term care unit at a hospital in Sevran, on the outskirts of the capital, and to a nursing home in Dijon, eastern France.
The first EU deliveries come after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave the green light to Pfizer-BioNTech on Monday and the French health authority HAS on Thursday.
Countries are especially eager to start their vaccination campaigns, as a new strain believed to be more infectious is spreading from Britain. A first case was identified in France on Friday.
But large-scale vaccinations for residents and staff of France’s 7,000 nursing homes won’t start until early 2021.
While French President Emmanuel Macron recently recovered from COVID-19, joining the league of other world leaders such as Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Prince Charles and Michel Barnier, who contracted the virus and recovered.
On Friday, the head of the French Government’s Scientific Council, immunologist Jean-François Delfraissy, declared the pandemic “under control” in France.