The information was first reported by local daily newspaper Var Matin, quoting French Ministry of Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
The Charles de Gaulle aircraft and its escort will soon head back at sea, sailing to the Eastern Mediterranean And Indian Ocean.
“Sailors who will embark in mid-February for an operational deployement will be vaccinated. Everyone obviously understands the reasons. So that sailors and fighter aircraft pilots can safely accomplish this long and important mission, during which medical evacuation capabilities will be limited, it is necessary that they are all being vaccinated against the Covid before sailing,” the French Ministry of Armed Forces Florence Parly told Var Matin.
“This vaccination campaign, decided in accordance with the Ministry of Health, began on Thursday”French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly to Var Matin
The CSG next mission will be to support France’s fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. The French Ministry of Armed Forces currently deploys around 900 soldiers in the area as part of the Operation Chammal.
Previous COVID-19 outbreak aboard Charles de Gaulle
For the record, the flagship of the French Navy was deployed in the North Atlantic in 2020 when a suspicion of COVID-19 outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier (40 suspected cases announced on April 8) prompted the Minister of the Armed Forces to order the early return of the Charles de Gaulle to its homeport. Four days later 50 sailors tested positive to COVID-19 of out the 66 total tests performed. In the end, over one third (1,046) of the CSG’ sailors were tested positive.
Subsequently, the aircraft carrier received a number of “health safety improvements” in the Summer of 2020 in order to make it more resilient to the COVID-19 epidemic: