A 78-year-old woman became the first person in France to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a tweet from Aurélien Rousseau, Director General of the Ile-de-France Region Health Department.

Rousseau posted a picture of the vaccination on Twitter on Sunday, describing it as “an intense moment … that holds 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 on Sunday morning in a public hospital in the greater Paris area.

“I’m moved,” she said.

A 65-year-old cardiologist, Dr. Jean-Jacques Monsuez, received the vaccine shortly afterwards.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted:

“After the green light from the health authorities, the vaccination campaign begins today in France as in Europe.”

He added that the vaccine was completely free and voluntary.

A dozen elderly people and carers are to be vaccinated on Sunday at the symbolic start of the French vaccination campaign in the greater Paris area and in Dijon in northeastern France.

The European Union started the first phase of its mass vaccination program on Sunday. In addition to France, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and Spain are among the Member States that started vaccination this weekend.

The French government plans to vaccinate a million people by the end of February, with a focus on the oldest, most vulnerable and caregivers.

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