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Emmanuel Macron has been slammed for making ‘nonsense’ claims that the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab doesn’t work on certain age groups.

The French President was accused of making ‘untrue’ comments and undermining confidence in the UK’s vaccine.

Despite the jab getting the green light, Macron made the accusation last night.

He said: “The real problem with AstraZeneca is just that it doesn’t work as expected, because we have very little information.

“Today, everything suggests that it is almost ineffective for those over 65, and some say over 60.”

Speaking to the Telegraph, Sir John Bell, regius chair of medicine at the University of Oxford who led the vaccine trials, said Mr Macron’s comments were “very unfair and also
untrue”.

He said: “There is ample evidence of strong antibody responses in this age group and you can be certain they will respond to the vaccine.

“Perhaps he [Mr Macron] is trying to reduce demand for the vaccine for some reason.”

Macron later criticised the UK’s decision to give the two jabs that make up the vaccine 12 weeks apart.

The comments came as the EU stepped back from threats of a Northern Ireland vaccine blockade after widespread fury.

It came after the bloc invoked part of the Northern Ireland Protocol in an attempt to stop vaccines made in the EU from getting into the UK through the back door.

The protocol, which is part of the Brexit deal, allows goods from the EU to be exported to Northern Ireland without checks.

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However the EU triggered Article 16 of the protocol last night to slap temporary export controls on vaccines sent to Northern Ireland.

But later in the evening, it confirmed the clause would not be triggered.

A statement revoking the decision confirmed: “In the process of finalisation of this measure, the Commission will ensure that the Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol is unaffected. The Commission is not triggering the safeguard clause.

“Should transits of vaccines and active substances toward third countries be abused to circumvent the effects of the authorisation system, the EU will consider using all the instruments at its disposal.”

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