Forty million people in France have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, French President Emanuel Macron wrote on Twitter.
According to him, this number represents almost 60% of the population, while four million of these vaccinations were carried out in the last two weeks. "Together we will defeat the virus. We will continue, "Macron wrote on Twitter during his official visit to French Polynesia.
The announcement came a day after the French parliament passed a controversial bill to tackle the pandemic, which provides for mandatory vaccinations for certain professions and makes access to culture and leisure as well as travel dependent on a new "pandemic". health pass' - a certificate of vaccination or diagnostic test.
Macron had announced on July 12 the implementation of the sanitary pass in order to deal with the fourth wave of the pandemic, which was triggered mainly by the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain.
The Macron government has made vaccinations the number one weapon in tackling the pandemic as new strains of the coronavirus emerge, effectively asking citizens to get vaccinated if they want to continue their daily routine without hindrance.
Vaccination certificates have met with strong reactions from groups of citizens who consider them to be violating their civil liberties.
Over the weekend, more than 160.000 people protested against the measures and dozens were arrested.
On Saturday, France recorded almost 23.000 new cases of coronavirus, twice as many as a week earlier, mainly due to the Delta variant.
But the number of ICU patients has dropped dramatically since its peak in April, and the government is crediting this to speeding up the vaccination rate.