Selin ATAY-TDO- Emmanuel Macron argued that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was "quasi-ineffective" for over-65s, just hours before it was approved for use on all adults in the European Union. In a press briefing in Paris on Friday, the Mr Macron claimed that the jab “doesn't work the way we were expecting to”.

French president said: “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; and you have countries whose vaccine strategy is to only administer one jab, I’m not sure that it’s very serious.”

Earlier, Germany wrongly suggested its efficacy for those aged over 65 could be as low as 8 per cent. Germany’s vaccine committee later concluded that a lack of necessary data meant the jab should only be given to people aged 18-64.

Besides that, on Friday the European Medicines Agency said its scientific experts considered that the vaccine can be used safely for the elderly even though “there are not yet enough results in older participants (over 55 years old) to provide a figure for how well the vaccine will work in this group”. The European Medicines Agency added that “protection is expected, given that an immune response is seen in this age group and based on experience with other vaccines”.

Meantime, the European Commission confirmed that it was imposing export controls on vaccines made in the EU following a row with AstraZeneca over deliveries. The pharmaceutical firm, based on UK,  has reduced its promised deliveries of 80 million doses by the end of March to 31 million doses.

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