Macron panic: France orders UK and US to give up Covid jabs – fears over vaccine ‘war’
Europe 'could have asked for more vaccines' says Scholz
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Despite his desperately slow vaccination scheme, President Emmanuel Macron said it was worth giving up jabs to developing countries to prevent the rogue states from dominating them. Moscow and Beijing are actively touting their government-backed vaccines to countries struggling to secure doses of Covid jabs produced by western projects. Mr Macron said African states are being charged “astronomical prices” for vaccines, such as those made by UK-based AstraZeneca, compared to the rates paid by the EU.
He claimed the gaps in the market are being plugged by the Chinese and Russian vaccines.
The French President told the FT: “We are allowing the idea to take hold that hundreds of millions of vaccines are being given in rich countries and that we are not starting in poor countries.
“It’s an unprecedented acceleration of global inequality and it’s politically unsustainable because it’s paving the way for a war of influence over vaccines.
“You can see the Chinese strategy, and the Russian strategy too.”
Mr Macron made the warning ahead of a meeting of G7 leaders, called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, tomorrow.
The Frenchman vowed to clampdown on western vaccine manufacturers, warning: “We will apply all the pressure we can.”
He said pharmaceutical giants must accelerate global production of their coronavirus jabs to ensure developing countries have a ready supply of life-saving shots.
And despite France’s vaccination scheme lagging behind that of Britain or the US, Mr Macron said diverting a small share of doses to Africa is an acceptable move.
“The key is to move quicker,” he said.
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“We are not talking about billions of doses immediately, or billions and billions of euros.
“It’s about much more rapidly allocating four or five percent of the doses we have.
“It won’t change our vaccination campaigns, but each country should set aside a small number of the doses it has to transfer tens of millions of them, but very fast, so that people on the ground see it happening.”
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Mr Macron claimed he had the support of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to start sharing the bloc’s vaccines with Africa.
He added: “She supports it and we are in agreement.”
It would be a “fully European and co-operative initiative”, the French leader claimed.
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