Macron crisis: French president condemned as France trails behind UK in people vaccinated

Macron and France 'are failing' on vaccine rollout says Moutet

Like other European countries, the French Government has received around 500,000 doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. But unlike the UK where more than 600,000 people have been vaccinated, French figures are much lower.

After official figures showed only 516 people had been vaccinated in France by January 1, the French President has faced mounting pressure to ramp up vaccinations.

Opposition party leader, Marine Le Pen, was quick to criticise Mr Macron and tweeted: “We are ‘at war’ against the virus, according to Macron and yet the government is unable to put in place simple logistics.

“Our vaccination campaign is the laughing stock of the developed world!”

MEP Jordan Bardella – who contracted the virus in November – lashed out at the French government.

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He said: “Germany is setting up 400 large vaccination centres and wee vaccinated in one week the same number that the Germans vaccinate in third minutes.

“They have failed on masks, border controls […] and now we vaccinate 450 people in seven days.

“It’s a disgrace.

“We are facing a logistical problem.

“Those who wish to be vaccinated must be able to do so, we must be able to set up large vaccination centres.

“Where is the Minister of Health?”

Another MEP, Thierry Mariani also tweeted: “November 29: Macron alls us he’s got everything ready for vaccination.

“January 3: Nothing works, but it’s not his fault.

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“The first quality of a leader is to take responsibility.

“With Macron, weirdly… it’s always someone else’s fault.”

In a second tweet, Mr Mariani said: “The worst thing about the Macron team is not that they are among the worst in Europe to handle the crisis, but it is that they continue to take the French for idiots every day!”

Frexit champion, Charles-Henri Gallois, also tweeted an image from BFMTV showing the number of vaccinations in the world.

The image showed more than 200,000 people have been vaccinated in Germany with Italy’s figures surpassing 100,000.

But France remains at just 516 with Mr Gallois adding: “Macron’s efficiency in one image!”

The French government has defended its vaccination policy following the criticism – but Mr Macron is said to be furious with the pace which he described as being like a “family stroll”, Journal du Dimanche newspaper reported.

Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said the delay was down to logistics but said they would “really take off this week and get stronger”.

Mr Attal explained the rollout by saying a “more gradual launch is necessary for logistical reasons: you cannot ask these people to go somewhere else in the country, and the delay is also linked to a pre-vaccination consultation and getting consent. This takes a bit more time”.

On Monday Covidtracker, which collates French official public health data, found just 0.003 percent of the population (2,000 people) have been vaccinated so far.

Overall France has had more than 2,000,000 total cases with the death toll surpassing 75,000.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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