Moderna vaccine set to arrive in France as country steps up anti-COVID drive

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PARIS (Reuters) – Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in France on Monday, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said, as the country steps up its vaccination drive following a sluggish start.

Castex and Health Minister Olivier Veran visited a health centre in Tarbes, southwestern France, on Saturday as part of the government’s campaign to accelerate France’s vaccine rollout.

Vaccinations against the coronavirus also took place at a centre in Taverny, near Paris. French medical regulator HAS said on Friday it had approved the Moderna vaccine, having previously cleared Pfizer/BioNTech’s rival.

The French presidency also said on Saturday that President Emmanuel Macron had held phone conversations on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss Europe’s vaccine strategy.

U.S.-based Moderna said on Monday it would produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million doses from its previous forecast.

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