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French president: COVID vaccine appears 'quasi-ineffective' on elderly patients

Vaccine 'doesn't work the way we were expecting it to' on older individuals, he said.

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French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron
(Chesnot/Getty)
Updated: January 29, 2021 - 6:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

French President Emmanuel Macron claimed on Friday that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine appears to have little effect on elderly patients, though a major European medical authority said the data in that regard was too limited to yet make an ultimate determination. 

Macron told reporters that AstraZeneca's vaccine "doesn't work the way we were expecting it to," and that the injection appears "quasi-ineffective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older."

Macron noted that France was still waiting on data from the European Union's European Medicines Agency to guide its vaccination policy; the EMA later in the day deemed the vaccine safe for all adults. 

"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 EMA said in a statement. "However, protection is expected, given that an immune response is seen in this age group and based on experience with other vaccines."