A 78-year-old woman has become the first person to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in France, according to a tweet by Aurélien Rousseau, director-general of the Ile-de-France region's health agency.
Rousseau posted a picture of the vaccination on Twitter Sunday and described it as "an intense moment ... carrying so much hope."
The first person to be vaccinated is a former housekeeper named Mauricette. She received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Sunday morning in a public hospital in the greater Paris area.
"I am moved," she said.
A 65-year-old cardiologist, Dr. Jean-Jacques Monsuez, was given the vaccine shortly afterwards.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that:
“Following the green light from health authorities, the vaccination campaign starts today, in France as in Europe.”
He added that the vaccine would be entirely free and voluntary.
A dozen elderly people and caregivers are scheduled to be vaccinated on Sunday at the symbolic launch of the French vaccination campaign, in the greater Paris area and in Dijon, in northeastern France.
The European Union launched the first phase of its mass vaccination program on Sunday. As well as France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain are among the member states that began giving vaccinations this weekend.
The French government says it is aiming to vaccinate one million people by the end of February, with a focus on the oldest, the most vulnerable and caregivers.