Macron uses social media to push for vaccination



French President Emmanuel Macron applauds as he watches a 3-on-3 women’s basketball game between France and the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson)

PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron has turned to popular social media apps in a new boost to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, tackle ‘fake news’ and reach out to younger people.

Filming himself from his summer residence at Fort de Brégançon on the French Riviera wearing a casual t-shirt, Macron, 43, offered to answer people’s questions in a video posted to Instagram and Tiktok.

As France faces a further rise in confirmed daily cases of COVID-19, Macron said the vaccine is “the only weapon we have to deal with it”.

“I know many of you are still wondering, are afraid. Many hear false information, false rumors, sometimes complete garbage… Go ahead, ask me and I’ll try to be as direct and clear as possible, ”he said.

Since then, Macron has posted a series of short videos covering topics such as: “I am young and healthy, I have no reason to get vaccinated”, “the vaccine is not safe and not effective at 100% “and” it’s too early, the vaccine was developed too quickly.

Macron’s move comes after three successive weekends of protests against France’s special virus pass drew thousands to Paris and other French cities.

Macron intends to continue answering people’s questions all week on social media, his office said.

This is not the first time that Macron, who is expected to run for a second presidential term next year, has used social media to try and reach out to younger people.

In May, he shot a video in the French presidential palace with two of France’s most popular YouTube stars, Mcfly and Carlito, after taking on the challenge of reaching over 10 million views with a song about social distancing.

More than 35 million people in France, or about 53% of the population, are fully vaccinated.

At least 6 million of them have received their first vaccine since Macron announced on July 12 that a COVID-19 health pass would be required to enter all restaurants and travel within the country. The measure, if approved by the Constitutional Council, is expected to begin on August 9.

To get the pass, people must have proof that they have been fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus.

France is also demanding that all healthcare workers start getting vaccinated before September 15 or risk suspension.

Nearly 112,000 people with the virus have died in France, which now records more than 20,000 new infections per day, against less than 2,000 new cases per day on July 1.


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