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Thousands of French health workers suspended for refusing COVID-19 vaccine

Thousands of French health workers suspended for refusing COVID-19 vaccine
A French medical worker handles vials of COVID-19 vaccine in Paris on January 18. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Thousands of healthcare workers across France have been suspended for failing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said Thursday.

All French health workers face a deadline next month to be inoculated, unless they show proof of a qualifying exemption or recovery from COVID-19.

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French Health Minister Olivier Veran said Thursday that 3,000 health workers have been notified of their suspension without pay because they hadn't received their first vaccine dose by the deadline on Wednesday.

The deadline for full vaccination for health workers is Oct. 16.

In July, French President Emmanuel Macron said all health workers are required to comply with the vaccine mandate.

Veran said dozens of workers have chosen to resign instead of receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

The requirement affects nearly 3 million healthcare workers in France, where 81% of the population aged 12 and over are vaccinated so far.

The unvaccinated workers may be reinstated if they are inoculated. French law says they cannot be fired, but they can be suspended without pay.

Earlier this week, unvaccinated health workers protested the vaccine mandate.

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