HALF of all adults in France are set to refuse a Covid jab after Emmanuel Macron’s scaremongering about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Anti-vax websites and platforms in France have attracted thousands of followers and the most recent polls reveal that half of the population may refuse a jab, according to reports.
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Anti-vax websites and platforms in France have attracted thousands of followersCredit: AP:Associated Press
Many adults are cancelling appointments after finding out they would receive the Oxford vaccineCredit: Reuters
Scaremongering from European politicians, including French president Macron, about the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab has led to a low uptake in Europe as they lag behind the UK.
Many adults in Europe are now cancelling their appointments after finding out they would receive the Oxford vaccine.
It comes despite new findings showing just one shot of the British-made jab slashes older people’s risk of being taken to hospital with the disease by 94 percent.
But Macron has claimed the Oxford vaccine “doesn’t work” on those over the age of 65.
Speaking at the end of January, Macron said: “The real problem with AstraZeneca is just that it doesn’t work as expected, because there we have very little information.
“Today, everything suggests that it is almost ineffective for those over 65, and some say over 60.”
And the latest polls show that a staggering proportion of French adults may now refuse the jab, Sky News reports.
A previous poll revealed that just four in 10 people in France wanted to have a Covid jabCredit: Reuters
French President Emmanuel Macron claimed the Oxford jab doesn’t work on people over 65Credit: Reuters
Macron talks to a patient as he visits a coronavirus vaccination centreCredit: AFP
French health sociologist Dr Caroline De Pauw said the skepticism in France comes from past health scares – particularly the hepatitis B jab in the 1990s.
“At the time there was the scandal that linked the vaccine with cases of multiple sclerosis,” she told Sky News.
“And suddenly, a link was made which has since been denied by all health authorities, including independent medical authorities, because of links with the pharmaceutical industry.
“And France has trouble going beyond this issue of hepatitis B and links with the pharmaceutical industry.”
She added: “When we do international studies we see that indeed the French are the ones who have the most doubts about vaccination. For example, the English are much more pro-vaccination than the French.”
A woman in Lille told Sky News: “It’s kind of in our culture.
“The French are always very reluctant to take drugs, vaccines, all that. But I find it a shame that people are refusing.”
French gendarmes on the quays along the River Seine, in ParisCredit: AFP or licensors
People gather along the River Seine as they enjoy a sunny afternoon in ParisCredit: AFP or licensors
French cops try to disperse Parisians as Covid numbers start to riseCredit: AFP or licensors
Amid the reluctance to get a jab, hospitals in Paris are buckling under a soaring number of Covid patients.
The number of people with Covid in intensive care in the Paris region is at its highest since November.
At Melun Hospital Centre, about 31 miles southeast of Paris, staff said they were at full stretch trying to monitor all the patients with the virus in the intensive care unit.
In December last year, a poll revealed that just four in 10 people in France wanted to have a Covid jab.
According to the poll by Ipsos Global Advisor and the World Economic Forum, just 40 percent of the population wanted to take the vaccine.
Fear of side effects was the reason most often given for not wanting the jab.
When we do international studies we see that indeed the French are the ones who have the most doubts about vaccination.”
Dr Caroline De Pauw
In the UK, more than 24 million people have received their first dose of the vaccine – but it is a different picture in France and Germany where just six percent of their populations have been vaccinated.
In comparison, the UK has handed out doses to more than 26 percent of citizens.
German regulators decided not to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the over-65s because there’s “insufficient data” to prove it works in that age group – despite the European Medicines Agency having approved it to be given to all adults.
In Berlin’s Tegel vaccination centres, which only gives the AstraZeneca jab, fewer than 200 people are turning up for the 3,800 daily appointments, according to the Times.
Belgium is also facing problem with its vaccine rollout as nurses threaten to strike if given the Oxford jab.
The country is not giving the Oxford vaccine to anyone aged above 55 despite authorisation, with healthcare workers the first priority group.
A nurse in a Flemish hospital told the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper: “If it turns out that we will be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will go on strike.”
It comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson slammed false claims that Britain has blocked vaccine exports to the EU.
The PM slapped EU Council chief Charles Michel over his claims that the UK had stopped jabs from getting to the continent.
“Let me be clear we have not blocked the export of a single COVID-19 vaccine, or vaccine components,” he said on Wednesday.
“This pandemic has put us all on the same side in the battle for global health, we oppose vaccine nationalism in all its forms.
“I trust that all sides of the house will join me in rejecting this suggestion, and calling on all our partners to work together to tackle this pandemic.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also fired off a furious letter to Michel demanding he “set the record straight”.
Raab wrote: “The UK Government has not blocked the export of a single COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine components.
“Any references to a UK export ban or any restrictions on vaccines are completely false.”