UPDATED: France warns not to underestimate potential danger of Indian COVID variant

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French Health Minister Olivier Veran told France info radio on Friday that it was still unclear if available COVID-19 vaccines were effective against the Indian variant, and he added that the danger of this variant must not be underestimated.

France has detected its first three cases of contamination with the B.1.617 variant of the novel coronavirus, currently present in India, the country’s Health Ministry said in a statement late on Thursday.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron on his Twitter feed on Friday said that all people in France aged 18 and over will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines from June 15 onwards, as the country aims to ease its way out of its third COVID lockdown.

France is hoping that an accelerated, vaccination campaign will enable it to re-open more businesses, shops and other leisure activities.

Photo: French Health Minister Olivier Veran at the La Timone public hospital in Marseille, France. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE SIMON / POOL

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