French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Wednesday that all adults would be eligible for vaccination by May 31, two weeks ahead of schedule.
People in “priority” jobs, including teachers, police officers or bus drivers, will be allowed to get their jabs as early as May 24, Castex said as he was visiting a vaccination centre in a Paris suburb.
The French leader told reporters the new schedule marked a “powerful acceleration” made possible by the fact that France would receive a large number of doses by the end of June.
So far, only people above age 50 or with a health condition as well as medical professionals were eligible for vaccination.
Since May 12, people below 50 were allowed to book last-minute slots to avoid wasting unused doses, but such opportunities were rare.
About 40% of France’s adult population has received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot — a rate still well behind the UK’s 70% and behind several other EU countries.