New York City eyes French 'health pass' vaccination policy

Thousands protested the policy in France, while others signed up for shots.

The mayor, who had previously said vaccine passports could be an important tool if balanced with privacy concerns, encouraged businesses "to move immediately to some form of mandate," adding that he would "seriously consider" a mandatory COVID pass for most social activities.

"We have to look at making it more appealing to get vaccinated, because there are only things you can do when you're vaccinated," de Blasio said during an interview with WNYC Friday.

Health workers in France, where at least 111,778 people have died from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, will be required to get vaccinated by Sept. 15, according to Macron.

As of Thursday, 58% of French residents had received at least one dose, and 44% were fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data. By comparison, 56% of Americans had gotten at least one shot, and 49% were fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At the same time, thousands of people in France took to the streets over the weekend to protest the health passes on the grounds that the rule was an overreach of Macron's power and an infringement of personal freedom, adding to longstanding tension. Even prior to the pandemic, the country had a strong thread of vaccine skepticism running through it.

Some experts, however, have pushed back on France's reputation as an anti-vaccine nation. "There’s a very big difference between what the French say and what they do," Laurent-Henri Vignaud, a science historian and coauthor of the book "Antivax," told the Guardian in January. "And polls whose methodology and questions can seem abstract do not reflect what happens when people know where they will have the vaccine, what it does, the how, when and why."

Some neighboring European countries seem similarly willing to take a hard line on compulsory vaccination. Italy announced that it would introduce its own mandatory health pass system starting Aug. 6.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.

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