Le President’s hate campaign has been a spectacular disaster. Not only has AstraZeneca been able to shake-off the row and plough on with supplies, France’s own attempts to keep pace with the global vaccine race have been dealt a significant blow after French drug maker Valneva had a deal to provide up to 140m jabs to the UK cancelled.
The Government accuses Valneva of a breach of contract, something the company strenuously denies. The result is the same: for a country that claims to have a world-beating science sector, France has failed to produce anything of real note.
Nine months after the contract was awarded, Valneva’s Covid vaccine remains stuck in Phase Three trials and a €1.4bn (£1.2bn) contract to supply the UK lies in tatters along with the company’s share price, which crashed 42pc in response.
It is testament to the courage of AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot that it has managed to establish manufacturing capacity in 15 countries. By the end of 2021, just 18 months after teaming up with Oxford University, it expects to have delivered up to 3bn doses across the globe.
Though the UK and France are almost neck and neck on double doses with a rate of between 66pc and 67pc, Macron has been forced to impose a form of vaccine apartheid with a Covid immunity pass required for cafes, bars, museums, trains and planes in order to catch up.