Europe accelerating COVID-19 booster rollout

French President Emmanuel Macron says his country will expand the COVID-19 vaccine booster program to include those aged 50 to 64.

Macron announced the plan in a televised address on Tuesday. The number of new coronavirus cases in France has been rising since mid-October, with the daily count sometimes exceeding 10,000 this month.

In France, booster shots have so far been available for people aged 65 and older, as well as those at high risk of developing serious symptoms. Only about 40 percent of those already eligible have received them.

Macron said people aged 65 and older will need to show proof of a booster shot from December 15 to enter restaurants, movie theaters and other facilities.

Macron called on people to step up their vigilance amid the new wave of infections, and urged those not yet vaccinated to do so to "live normally."

Other European countries are also accelerating booster rollout to contain the spread of infections.

Italy is offering COVID-19 booster shots to all people once six months have passed after getting their last jabs. The German government said last week that it plans to make booster shots after six months "the norm."