Hospital workers, nursing homes and life assistants, among others, may be suspended from employment and salary as of Wednesday, if they did not receive at least one dose.
The French president, the liberal Emmanuel Macron, set the September 15 deadline two months ago and, according to the authorities, 12% of hospital and nursing home employees had not yet been vaccinated a week ago.
The unions warn of possible problems if they are not allowed to exercise. “We cannot afford to lose more toilets,” stressed Stivala, who warned about possible “bed closures” and worse care.
The firmness of the French executive, whose Minister of Health Olivier Véran announced “systematic controls”, prompted some of the workers affected, still without immunization, to take the step.
One of the many examples is Cornellia, 47, a nurse in the psychiatry unit at a Paris hospital, who was vaccinated after the holidays, “under duress.” “We cannot run out of salary,” he justified.
Nathalie Della Giustina, a 47-year-old psychologist working in eastern France, instead refuses to “play Russian roulette” with her health. “Today I chose my health, although I also like my job,” he added.
The woman explained that her boss has already told her that she will not be able to work as of Wednesday and that she will be able to take the remaining vacation days first. “But he told me that in two months the dismissal will come,” he explained.
An increasing number of countries such as Greece, Italy, Hungary, Australia, Canada and the Gambia, among others, impose vaccination against the coronavirus in certain sectors such as health, tourism or administration.
More than 115,600 people lost their lives in France due to the virus, according to health authorities, while 70% of the population completed their immunization schedule, that is, some 46.7 million people.