PARIS, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Citing the advice of the country's National Authority for Health (HAS), the French government refused on Friday to allow health workers not vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to the workplace, Health Minister Francois Braun said.
In a press release, issued earlier on Friday, the HAS said it supported the maintenance of the vaccine mandate and recommended that the government deny reinstatement to such health workers.
Compliance with the vaccine mandate guarantees "better protection of people treated or accompanied," the HAS said. In its recommendation, the authority cited the alarming spread of Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 and the efficacy of the vaccines.
"We will follow the opinion of scientists," Minister Braun said.
Since last year, medical workers in France have had to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be allowed to work in health establishments. A few thousand of them have been suspended for failing to obey this rule. ■