Speaking to reporters only hours before the European Medecines Agency (EMA) recommended the vaccine for adults of all ages, Macron said there was “very little information” available for the vaccine developed by the British-Swedish company and Oxford University.
“Today we think that it is quasi-ineffective for people over 65,” he told the reporters, his office confirmed to AFP.
“What I can tell you officially today is that the early results we have are not encouraging for 60 to 65-year-old people concerning AstraZeneca,” he said.
Macron said he was awaiting the EMA's verdict – which came later Friday – and also that of France's own health authority “because they have the numbers”.
The French expert decision on the vaccine is expected at the start of next week, according to sources close to the health authority.
“I don't have any data, and I don't have a scientific team of my own to look at the numbers,” Macron acknowledged.
Meanwhile, Germany's vaccine commission on Friday maintained its advice against using AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccines on older people.
“The reason is because there is currently insufficient data on the effectiveness of the vaccines on people above 65 years old,” said the commission known as STIKO.
The advice by the panel of medical experts will be taken into account by the government as it officially draws up its decree on usage of the vaccine.
The discussion about the right target age group for the vaccine has compounded controversy surrounding AstraZeneca's vaccine.
The European Commission Friday published a redacted version of its contract with the drugs giant, hoping to prove the company had breached a commitment on vaccine deliveries.
Brussels is furious with the pharmaceuticals company after it warned that it would only be able to deliver a fraction of the doses the EU had been expecting once the vaccine is approved for use in the bloc.