French President Emmanuel Macron took to TikTok and Instagram in a renewed effort to try to persuade those who are still hesitant about receiving the coronavirus vaccine to finally get the inoculation.
His media push was also meant to counter misinformation about vaccines following the third straight weekend of demonstrations about a controversial coronavirus health pass in the nation which has proven have a surprisingly large number of people who are hesitant regarding Covid-19 vaccines.
Macron, who is nearly always portrayed in his businesslike dark suit and tie, donned a black t-shirt for a short video, which was filmed at the Presidential vacation home at Fort Brégançon in southern France, in front of a French flag.
He repeated his ongoing theme that vaccines were the “only weapon” that could stop the fourth wave of coronavirus, which is currently sweeping its way across the world.
French President touts vaccine, urges citizens to ask questions of him
“Some of you have been hearing false rumours, some of it rubbish, it has to be said,” Macron stated in the selfie-style video; he then urged all vaccine-hesitant people to address their questions and concerns directly to him.
Macron made the direct appeal to the people of France after many months of continued resistance to the vaccine rollout in the country, with an estimated 200,000 people protesting against the recent measures across the country last Saturday.
Last month that citizens would have to produce proof of either vaccination, or a negative Covid test or their recent recovery from Covid to be allowed to enter most museums, cinemas and sports venues.
That prompted an estimated one million French people to instantly make vaccine appointments but caused others to rise up in indignation. The protests on Saturday were the largest yet since Macron’s blanket announcement.
The stringent rules will be extended to all bars, restaurants, long-distance trains and shopping centers across the country as of Monday, August 9.
Macron asked if vaccine contains 5G chip
Those who are still opposed to both the mandate and the vaccine are calling the French president the head of a health “dictatorship”, maintaining that the new measures impinge on their freedom of choice.
Just as many French citizens demonstrated in the “yellow vest” anti-government protests during 2018-2019, tens of thousands have now have staged new protests — some of which have become violent.
The French president is up for reelection next year. As of now, Macron stated that “a little more than 35 million” French people are now fullly vaccinated in a nation of a little over 67 million.
The Élysée Palace told Agence France Presse that the head of state would “take questions and answer by video regularly this week.”
Among the first questions visible on Instagram Monday, was that of one citizen, who asked “What is the point of being vaccinated while in some regions wearing a mask has become mandatory outside?”
Another wanted to know “How can you prove that the vaccine minimizes severe forms of the disease?” and yet another person asked bluntly “What is it in this vaccine?”
“Is it true that there is a 5G chip in it?” another French citizen asked, while others were worried that taking the inoculation would reduce their lifespan.
Another person asked “Is it a president or a lobbyist who speaks!?”
“Possible” to achieve herd immunity “in early Fall”
The chairman of France’s orientation council of the vaccine strategy, Alain Fischer, considered that it was “possible” to achieve herd, or collective, immunity, with 90% of the population vaccinated at “the beginning of Autumn.”
As of August 2, 42.6 million people in France have received at least one injection (63.2% of the total population) and more than 52.6% of the total population now are completely vaccinated, according to figures released on Monday by the Ministry of Solidarity and Health.
Hospitals in France have stated that as of Monday there were 7,840 new Covid patients, representing an increase of 761 over the previous week, including 1,232 who are now in critical care services compared to the 952 who were in ICUs as of last Monday).
However, the officials also noted that the progression of the epidemic seems to be slowing down, suggesting a “plateau” might occur during the month of August.