The local parliament in France's South Pacific territory of New Caledonia has voted in favour of compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations of all its adult population and visitors to the archipelago over fears of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus that is sweeping French Polynesia.
When in 1885 French scientist Louis Pasteur successfully treated a nine-year-old boy called Joseph Meister who had been bitten by a rabid dog it marked a turning point in the development of vaccines. But the medical breakthrough was also the launchpad for a global expansion of institutes bearing their founder's name which became a spearhead for French influence around the world. As part of a summer series on the history of vaccines, Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis looks at the pioneering work of France's Louis Pasteur and his nationalistic rivalry with Germany's Robert Koch.
French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a lawsuit over a billboard poster campaign in the town of Toulon, southern France, in which he appears as Adolf Hitler with an accompanying caption that reads 'Obey. Get vaccinated'.
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.