French government hires McKinsey to support vaccination rollout

06 January 2021 2 min. read

The French government is working with consultants from McKinsey & Company on the massive task of vaccinating the country’s 67 million strong population.

France’s Covid-19 vaccination plan was unveiled in early December by Professor Alain Fischer – a pediatric immunologist who has been put in charge of the nationwide vaccine strategy. The three-phased rollout mirrors patterns emerging around the world, with priority being given to vulnerable categories.

In phase one – starting 4 January 2021 – the most at risk segments such as nursing home residents and staff will be given the vaccine, adding up to around 1 million doses. Phase two will start in February, featuring another 14 million doses administered to elderly citizens and those with underlying conditions. April will ring in the third phase, where the general population will gain access.

France’s government hires McKinsey to lead vaccination rollout

The government has emphasised that the vaccination is optional, and free of charge. While healthcare officials and experts are driving the project, the mammoth operation of vaccinating France’s population is being supported at the strategic, planning and logistical level by dozens of consulting firms and staffing agencies.

According to reporting by Politico – which viewed internal documents – consultants from McKinsey & Company have been seated at the strategy table since the plan was unveiled in early December, and maybe even before.

Politico cited a French health ministry official in its report, who revealed that McKinsey is advising on “defining the logistical framework, establishing logistical benchmarking with other countries, and supporting the operational coordination of the task force” for the countrywide rollout. 

The strategy consultancy brings bags of experience in the Covid-19 space. In the UK, McKinsey worked on the so-called test and trace programme, mainly supporting the NHS on strategy preparation and execution. Other consulting giants such as Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG are also major beneficiaries of UK’s Covid-19 response.

However, in France, the complexity of rolling out the vaccine is topped off with heavy public criticism on the approach so far. The French vaccination strategy is being described as sluggish when compared to other European countries such as the UK, Denmark or Germany – where vaccine administrations are already well underway. In France, the official line has been that such a delicate matter cannot be rushed.