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Lionel Laurent

Vaccine Rollout: France Is Failing at What It’s Meant to Do Best

Emmanuel Macron needs to up his game.

One of the lucky few.

One of the lucky few.

Photographer: Francois Lo PrestiI/AFP via Getty Images

About the best thing you can say about the start of France’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign is that it surely can’t get any worse. 

The homeland of vaccine pioneer Louis Pasteur, and the source of major scientific victories such as the discovery of HIV in the 1980s, is today at the bottom of the charts when it comes to coronavirus jabs. France had administered 516 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine as of Sunday, two weeks after it was approved by the European Union. That’s far behind Germany’s 238,809 inoculations and the U.K.’s 947,206.