France starts giving COVID-19 shots in national sports stadium

PARIS (Reuters) - France has started administering shots of the COVID-19 vaccine inside the Stade de France, the national stadium that once hosted soccer's World Cup final.

Reuters April 07, 2021 00:12:43 IST
France starts giving COVID-19 shots in national sports stadium

COVID-19 shots in national sports stadium" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/04-2021/07/2021-04-06T164129Z_1_LYNXMPEH3515P_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-FRANCE-VACCINATIONS-STADIUM.jpg" alt="France starts giving COVID19 shots in national sports stadium" width="300" height="225" />

PARIS (Reuters) - France has started administering shots of the COVID-19 vaccine inside the Stade de France, the national stadium that once hosted soccer's World Cup final.

Queues of people snaked around the concourse, but where under usual circumstances they would have been lining up for a sports event, on Tuesday they were waiting for their jabs as part of a French bid to speed up its vaccination programme.

Inside the stadium, a space that in pre-pandemic times hosted conferences and VIP dinners had been fitted out with tents that were being used as cubicles to administer the vaccine.

"The Stade de France, which is a place of celebration, which is the temple of sporting feats in our country, has been at a standstill for nearly 400 days," Pierre Coppey, an executive with one of the stadium's co-owners, told reporters.

"What we can do here, by mobilising this vaccination centre, is speed up the return to a normal life," he said.

France needs to accelerate vaccinations because of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. Doctors say intensive care units in parts of the country are at risk of being overwhelmed by patients sick with the virus.

France is one of several European Union states re-vamping its vaccination rollout to make up lost ground.

Around 13% of the French population has been given at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while in nearby Britain the figure is at 47%, according to Reuters data.

The 80,000-seat Stade de France was the venue of the 1998 soccer World Cup final, won by the home team, and it also hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup final.

Stadium managers say the handful of matches and concerts scheduled for the next few months can still go ahead, despite the opening of the vaccination centre.

(Writing by Christian Lowe, editing by Ed Osmond)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

How Biden's agencies are picking apart Trump's Wall Street-friendly measures
Business

How Biden's agencies are picking apart Trump's Wall Street-friendly measures

(In first paragraph, fixes hyperlink to story) By Katanga Johnson WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S.

GM marketing spend will return to normal levels post pandemic
Business

GM marketing spend will return to normal levels post pandemic

By Ben Klayman DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co's marketing and promotional spending will return to normal levels after the COVID-19 pandemic caused that budget to drop last year, the U.S. automaker's top marketing officer said on Monday. "What we went through in the pandemic was certainly severe and we should be moving back up to our normalized levels," GM Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl said in an online appearance at a Reuters Events conference.

White House to zero in on chip shortage in meeting with company officials
Business

White House to zero in on chip shortage in meeting with company officials

By Nandita Bose WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden will urge Congress to invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research when he meets with top executives from nearly 20 major companies on Monday about the global chips shortage that has roiled the automotive industry and technology firms. The push is part of his broader focus on rebuilding U.S