PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged the U.S. “won the bet” on coronavirus vaccines by investing massively and moving fast with experimental treatments.
He urged his compatriots to join a “national war effort” to administer and make vaccines. Macron visited a French factory Friday that started bottling and packaging Pfizer vaccines this week. He promised France would produce 250 million vaccine doses this year for domestic and global use.
Amid frustration in France that no French company has produced a leading vaccine so far despite a powerful pharmaceutical industry, Macron pledged “24/7” efforts to boost vaccine development and production at sites like the Delpharm plant he visited west of Paris.
France is under a month of new restrictions to ease strain on hospitals fighting a new surge of virus patients. Macron stressed the importance of speeding up vaccine injections and wants “all our country mobilized for vaccines, morning, noon, evening and night .. to administer doses but also to produce them. It’s really collective, national war effort.”
Macron also defended France’s decision to limit the AstraZeneca vaccine to those over 55 pending further investigation into rare blood clotting in some younger recipients.