Merkel and Macron have been irresponsible with vaccinations | Annie Lewis

Across Europe, the consequences of an apprehensive vaccine roll-out are already being felt.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 4:00 pm
People wait after receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination center of Valenciennes, on March 23, 2021. (Photo by Yoan VALAT / POOL / AFP) (Photo by YOAN VALAT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As a whole, the EU Commission has undermined the confidence of their own vaccine programme.

But individually, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have induced harmful long-term ramifications for their countries thanks to their scepticism around the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Macron said the jab was ‘quasi-ineffective’ for those aged over 65. Merkel, 66, refused the vaccine at the end of February, implying it was not recommended for her age group. This came as reports stated 1.4 million doses went unused in Germany.

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Earlier this month, Germany, France and Spain paused the AstraZeneca roll-out over concerns it causes fatal blood clots. Instantly, this action sent a message to others to question the vaccine’s safety and thereby reduced vaccine uptake.

However, as of March 10, only 30 cases of blood clotting were recorded in more than five million vaccinations across Europe.

But due to this ‘pause’, EU countries are facing a slow roll-out. My uncle, who lives in Munich and would be classed as clinically vulnerable in the UK, doesn’t believe he will be vaccinated until 2022 or perhaps even 2023.

Whether Macron and Merkel’s scepticism around the AZ jab is due to tensions after Brexit or not, it is still hugely irresponsible for powerful leaders to suggest such inaccurate and false facts without thorough research and investigation. If they had done the latter, they would have found the AZ jab is 100 per cent effective at preventing people from falling seriously ill, thanks to research completed in the US.

It is, quite simply, scare-mongering and that is something you do not expect from heads of state. Instead, you expect them to lead by example.

Neither Macron or Merkel seem bothered about the fact that their apprehension has fuelled a dangerous anti-vaxxer movement in Europe. But when this comes back to bite them, they only have themselves to blame.

Women know it’s not all men, but that doesn’t reduce fear

In the wake of Sarah Everard’s tragic death, debates have started around women’s safety.

Many feel unsafe walking at night alone, myself included. Therefore stories such as Everard’s only instil more fear.

Of course, women understand and are quite aware that not every man or woman is out to get them. Therefore we don’t need constant reminders from the ‘not all men’ brigade.

However the problem is that we – as women – have been taught to be sceptical of everyone. Therefore while we do agree that it’s not all men who behave like this, we never know which men do.

Don’t ask why women are vulnerable, ask why they are scared.

Meghan won her copyright battle and is reaping rewards

After Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, won her copyright battle against the Mail on Sunday, the newspaper was ordered to print an apology on its front page.

If paying 90 per cent of Meghan’s legal costs wasn’t enough of a blow to the corporation, they also have to publish the apology on their online homepage for one day and the online news page for a further six days. It’s been reported the Duchess originally wanted the apology on the website for six months.

But if the story – which published a private letter between Meghan and her father – caused her so much pain, can you blame her for demanding as much as she can?

Some may call it revenge...