Study shows Covid health pass saved nearly 4,000 lives in France

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The implementation of the French ‘pass sanitaire’ (health pass) in the summer of 2021 is estimated to have saved nearly 4,000 lives in France, shows a recent study by the Conseil d’analyse économique (CAE).

Health passes and vaccination certificates remain the subject of discussion, but independent scientists from various universities and institutes found that France’s sudden implementation of the pass not only saved thousands of lives but also saved €6 billion for the country’s economy.

After France had already imposed strict measures (such as a 18:00 curfew), it was among the first European countries to require its ‘pass sanitaire’ to gain access to bars and restaurants. From August, it became mandatory for large shopping centres, cultural venues and long bus and train journeys.

Immediately after French President Emmanuel Macron announced on 12 July 2021 that the ‘pass sanitaire’ would be made mandatory to enter bars, restaurants and museums, vaccination appointments surged as almost a million first shots were booked the next day.

Now, as the country tightened its rules again by replacing its “health pass” with a “vaccination pass,” the Conseil d’analyse économique published a study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, to show the impact of the ‘pass sanitaire,’ focused on vaccination coverage, hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19, as well as its economic consequences.

The researchers studied France, Germany and Italy, and while the impact of the introduction of such a health pass encouraged people to get vaccinated in all three countries, the biggest effect was found in France: between the day of Macron’s announcement and the end of December, France’s vaccination rate rose from 53.8% to 78.2%.

Without the pass, just 65.2% of the population would have been vaccinated, which is a difference of 13 percentage points. The study also noticed the impact in Italy (+9.7 percentage points) and Germany (+6.2), but the difference was less pronounced.

The difference is due to the difference in approach from the different countries, according to the researchers.

Without the pass, the number of hospital admissions would also have been about 31% higher in France, 5% higher in Germany and 15.5% higher in Italy. The researchers calculated that the pass saved 3,979 lives in France, 1,133 in Germany and 1,331 in Italy.

Photo – EC Audiovisual Service

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