98% of French teachers say ‘non’ to AstraZeneca: Mass vaccination centre offering jab to over-55s is forced to close after just 58 people out of 3,000 signed up

The Daily Mail:

  • Mass vaccination centre in Nice opened at 9am Saturday offering 4,000 AstraZeneca jabs to teachers, policemen and other at-risk staff aged over 55
  • But it was forced to close by 1pm after just 58 people signed up for the jabs 
  • It is thought 3,000 teachers were eligible for the jabs but did not want to take it 
  • Local official said people ‘turned around’ after learning jab was AstraZeneca 

French teachers in the city of Nice have overwhelmingly rejected AstraZeneca’s Covid jab after just 58 out of a possible 3,000 signed up to be vaccinated. 

The jabs were being offered at a mass vaccination centre in Nice’s Palais des Expositions this weekend, with 4,000 available to those aged over 55 in high-risk occupations, meaning 3,000 teachers eligible to take part.

But the centre was forced to close after just four hours on Saturday due to lack of demand with just 58 appointments registered, and did not reopen today despite being scheduled to do so.

That means the take-up rate among eligible teachers was just 2 per cent, with one local official blaming vaccine hesitancy caused by scaremongering around the British-made jab. 

Anne Frackowiak-Jacobs, sub-prefect of nearby Grasse, said people had ‘turned around’ when they learned they would be given AstraZeneca.  

Macron previously described the AstraZeneca jab as ‘quasi-ineffective’ in older people and limited its use to the young, before flip-flopping after data suggested a link to very rare blood clots in the young, restricting it to older people instead.

That has led to ‘vaccine hesitancy’ among French people – already Europe’s biggest vaccine-skeptics – with a survey last month showing 61 per cent of people now think the AstraZeneca jab is ‘unsafe.’ 

Local officials tried to claim that vaccines had been advertised late and restrictions on age and occupation were also to blame for appointments going un-used.

But Ms Frackowiak-Jacobs said it actually shows that French people have ‘no confidence’ in the British-made jab, despite world health authorities and Europe’s own regulator saying the benefits far outweigh the risks.  

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