In France, the slowness of vaccination endangers the economic recovery

    In France, the slowness of vaccination endangers the economic recovery

    Administration of the Pfizer-#Bio#Ntech vaccine in Montpellier on January 4. PASCAL GUYOT / AFP

    For the year 2021, Emmanuel Macron mentioned during his wishes to the French a “Hope” who “Grows every day “And “A revival that is already shuddering”. Economists, however, wonder and, often, panic.

    The vaccine against Covid-19, supposed to sign the end of the pandemic and the health restrictions that have gripped the activity for nearly a year, is ready. But the vaccination campaign is not progressing, or very little. At 1is January, 516 people had received a first injection of the Pfizer Bio#Ntech vaccine (it takes two to be immunized) according to the Ministry of Health, against nearly a million in the United Kingdom and more than 165,000 in Germany.

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    After the anger of the Head of State, criticizing a vaccination “Rhythm of a family walk”, according to Sunday newspaper (JDD) of January 3, and while the oppositions go so far as to speak of a “State scandal”, the executive seems decided since Monday, January 4 to accelerate. But he does not want to renounce his cautious vaccine strategy either, at the risk, warn experts, of mortgaging the economic recovery hoped for this year.

    “A rebound in GDP [produit intérieur brut] 6% in 2021 as predicted by Bercy is now becoming heroic ”, is alarmed in particular Patrick Artus, chief economist within the Natixis bank. To hear it, the country could numb in a sluggish growth of the order of 2% to 3% this year while being unable to compensate for a recession close to 10% in 2020. “#Three points of GDP is a million jobs and probably thousands of deaths. We store doses of vaccines in refrigerators but we do not use them. It’s criminal! “, gets carried away the economist.


    In fact, the trend of contamination, judged “Worrying” by the Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon, suggests that the reopening of bars and restaurants, a time envisaged for January 20, will be postponed. Theaters, cinemas, sports halls and other events players have little more hope.

    If the word “confinement” is not yet spoken, “We are coming”, thinks Patrick Artus. In total, with the containment or even the maintenance of the curfew, nearly 10% of the GDP remains de facto paralyzed by the Covid-19. Worse, Mr. Artus does not already exclude in his calculations a fourth, even a fifth confinement, if the country does not manage to achieve collective immunity by the end of the first semester by vaccinating at least 26 million French people. The government’s goal is to vaccinate 14 million of the most vulnerable people by June.

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