French Prime Minister Jean Castex delivers a press conference on the current French government strategy for the ongoing Covid…
French Prime Minister Jean Castex delivers a press conference on the current French government strategy for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on Feb. 4, 2021, in Paris.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Thursday that while the COVID-19 pandemic remains serious, he does not think another nationwide lockdown is necessary. But he urged people to take all necessary precautions to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

During a COVID-19 news briefing from Paris, Castex said that while France’s infection rate remains too high, it is still lower than it was in October. He warned if the situation deteriorates, the government will not hesitate to call for a shutdown.

The prime minster also announced that beginning Friday, the government will be scheduling a total of 1.7 million more vaccinations to be completed by end of March.

He said France will begin receiving its first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which does not have the same refrigerated storage requirements of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, allowing health officials to distribute the vaccine more quickly.

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