New Covid-19 infections are on average increasing by more than 18,000 a day, figures show.
Past medical scandals involving big pharma and public officials have made many suspicious of vaccines.
Marseille mayorsaid seven to eight people had tested positive for the new variant in the city, while tests were underway on 30 others who may also have been exposed to it.
The French parliament will later this year debate a health ministry proposal to make compulsory the vaccination of young children against 11 different ingectious diseases, only three of which are currently mandatory, but the move divides public opinion of which, opinion surveys show, a large minority consider vaccines unsafe.
Couple object to additives that go into the diphtheria, tetanus and polio jabs, which are compulsory under French law.