Macron calls for multilateral effort in fighting COVID-19 pandemic

French President Emmanuel Macron called for a stepped-up multilateral effort in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in an interview with French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche published on Sunday.

“We should work with the Chinese and Russians so that the vaccines developed by their scientists be integrated in this great multilateral effort – immediately when they start the necessary certifications by the WHO (World Health Organisation),” he said.

“We are now engaged in a fight against variants, which is a real race against time,” Macron said, urging a “rapid, effective and united” global effort in the fight against the pandemic.

The French president also called for international efforts to ensure equal access to vaccines against COVID-19, especially in Africa. “African countries are asking us, justifiably, about their access to vaccines,” he said.

Earlier this month, Macron expressed his country’s openness to any vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, which has only given the green light to COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca so far.

The shortage of approved vaccines in Europe has been drawing increasing public criticism, prompting demands for alternative solutions.

(With input from Xinhua, AP)

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