Audrey Courreges’s mistrust of new coronavirus vaccines runs so deep that she’s told the nursing home where she works, in the southern French town of Beziers, that she won’t take the vaccinations or administer them.
A big reason: French officials are running up against deeply ingrained opposition that has made France among the world’s top vaccine skeptics.
An Ipsos poll conducted in December found that France ranked at the bottom of 15 countries on willingness to take a Covid-19 vaccine, with only 40% of the public saying they wanted the shot.
Polls show that more than three-quarters of nursing home workers—who are among the government’s first target groups for the vaccine—don’t want to take it.
The resistance has historical roots in the 19th century, when antivaccination groups campaigned against modern inoculation techniques discovered by Frenchman Louis Pasteur.
Russia is selling millions of doses of its homegrown Sputnik V vaccine abroad, making it a major supplier of a shot that could give Moscow a valuable slice of the global Covid-19 vaccine market and potentially earn Russia geopolitical clout in the developing world.
Moscow approved Sputnik V for domestic use in August before finishing trials.
Sputnik V, named for the Soviet satellite launched into orbit during the Cold War, ranks third in the world by doses ordered by middle- and low-income countries, according to Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center, ahead of U.S. drugmakers Pfizer Inc.
Eight countries outside Russia have authorized the shot for emergency use.
Still, Sputnik V hasn’t been approved by Western health authorities or received authorization from the WHO, which many developing countries rely on for vetting vaccines.
MIAMI—Visitors from Toronto to New York to Buenos Aires have long flocked to Florida for sun, surf and shopping.
Now they are coming for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Some of the arrivals are Americans or foreigners who own second homes in the state and reside here part-time.
Others are making short-term visits, seizing the opportunity provided by Florida’s decision to make the vaccine available to people age 65 and older, including nonresidents.
The practice, which some are calling vaccine tourism, has drawn fire from some officials and residents.
Interest is up sharply from Canadians who are looking to travel to the U.S. for vaccinations, according to Momentum Jets, a private jet service provider in Toronto.
Martin Firestone, an insurance broker and president of Travel Secure Inc. in Toronto, said about 30% of his clientele of so-called snowbirds decided to travel to the southern U.S. in November despite the pandemic.
David MacMillan lucked into a dose of Moderna Inc.’s Covid vaccine late on New Year’s Day. While grocery shopping at Giant Food in Washington, D.C., the 31-year-old paralegal passed by the in-store pharmacist who was scrambling to find takers for two doses after a pair of health-care workers missed their appointments.
Some people miss appointments and their shots have to be given away so vaccine doesn’t go to waste.
Some vaccination sites are ready to give shots to new groups of people or want to move vaccine across county or state lines to where people are waiting for it, only to be held up by local authorities.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department said Tuesday that all people over 65 and anyone with pre-existing conditions should be eligible for the shot, releasing millions of doses that it has held back for second doses for health-care workers.