French government minister injects fellow minister with COVID shot


FILE PHOTO: French Health Minister Olivier Veran arrives to attend the vaccination of health workers, at the vaccination centre of Hotel Dieu (Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris) in Paris, France January 4, 2021, as part of the launch of the vaccination campaign for healthcare professionals over 50 and/or with co-morbidities. Martin Bureau/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Two ministers in the French government promoted the COVID-19 vaccine through their own example on Tuesday, with one of them administering the shot to the other.

Health Minister Olivier Veran is a doctor by profession, which qualified him to administer the injection. The colleague receiving it was Olivia Gregoire, junior economy minister.

As he got ready to give the injection in front of television cameras at Necker Hospital in Paris, Veran struggled to put on a surgical glove, which he put down to being out of practice.

But his patient, who is pregnant and was getting her second dose of the vaccine on Tuesday, said she was not worried about his professional abilities. "I have complete faith," Gregoire said.

After the injection was done, she told Veran she had not felt a thing. "You haven't lost the knack," she told him.

The public vaccination was designed to encourage people to get the shot, to head off what some public health officials in France warn could turn into a fourth wave of the pandemic.

To date, around 60% of people in France have had at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"We can't say the peak is behind us," Veran said outside the hospital. "We need to get vaccinated, in large numbers."

(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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