Compulsory jabs too late for my dad, says Frenchwoman preparing to sue

PARIS (Reuters) – France announced this week all healthcare workers will have to get a COVID-19 jab, but Johanna Cohen-Ganouna believes if that decision had been taken earlier, her father could still be alive.

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The 39-year-old believes her father contracted COVID-19 after coming into contact with an infected hospital worker, and she is preparing to sue the French government for not making vaccinations compulsory months ago.

“I feel a lot of anger, a lot of sadness,” Cohen-Ganouna told Reuters on Tuesday, a day after President Emmanuel Macron announced vaccinations would be mandatory for healthcare workers.

“It’s too late,” she said of Macron’s decision. “They could have thought of it earlier.”

The French government did not respond to a request for comment. The authority that operates Paris hospitals said it could not publicly disclose details of her father’s medical care, but that it had provided information to her and offered her a meeting with a senior doctor about his care, which she refused.

Her father, Fabien Cohen-Ganouna, was admitted to a Paris hospital on March 13 this year with a fractured hip. Though vaccinated, he was at high risk from COVID, because he had reduced immunity following a liver transplant.

He was tested twice for the virus after admission, and twice was negative, but a third test, on April 12, came back positive, according to his daughter. She said he died from COVID-19 complications on May 2, at the age of 76.

His daughter believes he must have got the virus from a member of hospital staff, because he received no visitors until he was already gravely ill with the virus, and he was in a room on his own.

Her lawyer, Benjamin Fellous, has written to Prime Minister Jean Castex alleging that, by not making it mandatory for healthcare workers to get vaccinated, the government had put Fabien Cohen-Ganouna in danger.

The family is seeking compensation, and will take the case to an administrative court if their demand is not met within two months, the lawyer said.

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