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French President Emmanuel Macron took to popular social media platforms on Tuesday in a new push to increase Covid vaccination rates, combat “false information” and reach out to younger people.
Filming himself from his summer residency at Fort de Bregancon on the French Riviera, wearing a casual T-shirt, President Macron offered to answer people’s questions in a video posted on Instagram and TikTok.
In the face of a new surge of Covid cases, he called vaccines “the only weapon we have to face it.”
“I know that many of you are still wondering, are afraid. Many are hearing false information, false rumours, sometimes complete rubbish … Go ahead, ask me and I will try to be as direct and clear as possible,” he said.
Mr Macron subsequently posted a string of short videos addressing a series of vaccine misconceptions including over their effectiveness, speed of development and distribution among young and healthy people.
He intends to continue answering people’s questions all week on social media, his office said.
The move comes after three successive weekends of protests against France’s special virus pass drew thousands of people in Paris and other French cities.
This is not the first time that President Macron, who is widely expected to seek a second presidential term next year, has used social media in a bid to speak to younger people.
In May, he filmed a video in the French presidential palace with two of France’s most popular YouTube stars, Mcfly and Carlito, after they met a challenge to reach more than 10 million views with a song about social distancing.
Over 35 million people in France - about 53 per cent of the population - are fully vaccinated.