The Social Affairs Committee of the French Senate has introduced a bill making the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for all French citizens from January 1st, 2022. If successful, this would make France the first country in the world to make the jabs compulsory for all citizens.
Over the past year, France has introduced strict Covid-19 vaccine mandates including making the jab compulsory for all health workers and introducing a vaccine passport, which is required to enter public spaces including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues and even hospitals. The restrictions have faced a significant amount of criticism, leading to much of the French population taking part in protests across the country.
The proposed vaccine mandate was introduced on October 4th by Senator Bernard Jomier. Senator Jomier, who introduced the bill, is the Vice-Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee and is also a member of the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices, Social Security Assessment and Control Mission, and is an ecologist. The member of the Socialist Party, along with his fellow senators had initially introduced the premise of a nationwide vaccine mandate to the French Senate on August 31st.
Through using a precedent that already requires inoculations against other diseases, the Senator has found a particularly sneaky and efficient way to force through the vaccine mandate. Under Article L3111-1 f the Public health Code there are currently 11 mandatory vaccines required for French citizens without medical exemptions.
These vaccines include: antidiphtheric, antitetanus, antipoliomyelitis, pertussis, haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis virus type b, invasive pneumococcal infections, serogroup c meningococcus, measles, mumps, and rubella. If passed, the Covid-19 vaccine would be added to the jab schedule.
Once the mandate comes into effect, those who fail to comply would face a fine of €135 under Article 519 of the French Code of Criminal Procedure and the fine could increase to as much as €1500 for repeated offences if citizens do not get the vaccine. A public session discussion on the proposed amendment to the Public Health Code is set to be held in the Senate on October 13th before it is sent to the National Assembly.
Effective from September 15th, the health worker vaccine mandate meant that more than 2.5 million people who work as hospital staff, paramedics, social care workers and private physicians were forced to comply and get vaccinated. The same mandate also applied to firefighters across the country but it was met with significant resistance through organised labour strikes. At least 3000 French healthcare workers have since been suspended for refusing to get the Covid jab.