Take that, Macron! French President’s ‘ludicrous’ Oxford vaccine claims brutally backfire

EU are ‘commandeering UK over vaccine supply’ says Malone

The French President took aim at the UK’s vaccination strategy last Friday in the wake of a huge row over supplies of the jab to Europe. Emmanuel Macron claimed the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at the centre of the storm appeared to be “quasi-ineffective” on people older than 65 – but just hours later regulators approved it. He also condemned the UK’s decision to extend the time between people receiving their first and second dose, from 28 days to 12 weeks.

The 43-year-old insisted the “goal is not to have the biggest number of first injections”, and claimed “we are lying to people when we tell them they’ve been vaccinated by getting one injection of a vaccine that consists of two injections”.

But, this evening scientists at the University of Oxford vindicated the UK’s decision to maximise the number of people receiving their first dose.

Tests showed the vaccine has a 76 percent efficacy against symptomatic infection for three months after a single dose, with greater effectiveness when a second is given later.

Mr Macron has since found himself in the firing line for his previous remarks towards the UK.

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Greg Clark, the chairman of the Commons science committee, said: “It seems that President Macron has made an error. It is nonsense.”

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith added: “His reckless remarks damage public health by playing into the hands of the anti-vaxxers on a false premise.

“In this respect, he out-trumps Donald Trump.”

Users on social media also mocked the French President after details of the study emerged.

Responding to the results tweeted by the University of Oxford, one user wrote: “Think this just out from the University Of Oxford will answer all questions. Wonderful news that makes recent comments from Macron all the more ludicrous.”

A second added: “@EmmanuelMacron still think it’s useless now smarty pants.”

A third wrote: “Macron won’t be happy.”

A fourth added: “Good job – shame the EU are trying to trash your efforts.”

The findings of the study, which are yet to be peer-reviewed, found between day 22 and day 90 after the first dose of the vaccine was administered its efficiency was 76 percent.

The paper added the vaccine efficacy was 82.4 percent with 12 or more weeks to the second dose being administered.

Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, and study co-author, said: “It also supports the policy recommendation made by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation for a 12-week prime-boost interval, as they look for the optimal approach to roll out, and reassures us that people are protected from 22 days after a single dose of the vaccine.”

Speaking on Friday, Mr Macron said two jabs needed to be injected within 28 days for them to work.

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He said: “If we look at the strategy of the UK – I’m not the commentator on others’ strategy, but we have to be very careful right now in how we compare vaccine strategies. The goal is not to have the biggest number of first injections.

“When you have all the medical agencies and the industrialists who say you need two injections for it to work, a maximum of 28 days apart, which is the case with Pfizer/BioNTech.”

He added: “And you have countries whose vaccine strategy is to only administer one jab, I’m not sure that it’s very serious.

“When I listen to the scientists who say we accelerate the mutations with only one injection because the virus adapts… we are lying to people when we tell them they’ve been vaccinated by getting one injection of a vaccine that consists of two injections.”

Following the attacks, Downing Street said the UK regulator – the MHRA – had carried out an “extremely thorough” evaluation of all the vaccines and when they should be administered.

Today, the UK past the milestone of administering 10 million coronavirus vaccines, meanwhile France has immunised less than two million people.

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