French Parliament Approves Macron’s Vaccine Pass

Paris (Reuters) -
People attend a demonstration called by the French political party Les Patriotes against the COVID-19 vaccine pass, as French lawmakers attend a debate on the French government’s planned bill to transform the current health pass into a vaccine pass, at the National Assembly in Paris, France, Jan. 3, 2022. (REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier)

France’s Parliament on Thursday approved President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for a vaccine pass to help curb the spread of the omicron variant after a tumultuous debate whipped up by Macron’s comments.

Macron told Le Parisien newspaper earlier this week that he wanted to make the lives of those refusing the COVID-19 vaccine so complicated by squeezing them out of public places that they would end up getting jabbed.

Macron’s coarse language barely three months before a presidential election was widely seen as politically calculated, tapping into intensifying public frustration against the unvaccinated.

More than 90% of over-12s have received at least two doses, government data shows. Health Minister Olivier Veran said a record number of people since Oct. 1 received a first shot on Wednesday after Macron’s comments were published.

Lawmakers in the lower house passed draft legislation including the vaccine pass shortly after 5 a.m. after an all-night session by a margin of 214 to 93. Many of those who voted against the bill were from the far-right or left-wingers.

The legislation will go to the Senate before a final vote in the National Assembly.