Influencer in chief: Macron answers vaccine skeptics on TikTok and Instagram.


In the videos, Mr. Macron tried to dispel worries and counter falsehoods about the vaccines, although it was unclear whether he was answering questions submitted by actual social media users.

“If you don’t do it merely for yourself, do it for those close to you,” he said in one video addressed to young people who argue the vaccine is superfluous for them because they aren’t high-risk patients. “The vaccine saves lives, the virus kills,” he said in another.

In the latest clip, published on Tuesday, he reminded viewers that vaccines had helped humanity eradicate diseases like smallpox and polio and that, since 2018, 11 different vaccines are already mandatory for children in France.

On mRNA vaccines, the innovative technology used in Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid shots, Mr. Macron pointed out that scientific research into the technology goes back decades, and argued the rapid development of vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic was something to be celebrated, not looked at suspiciously.

“That’s the reality of things and the truth,” he concluded.

Mr. Macron’s videos have already been seen millions of times, but it is unclear whether his influencing efforts will be enough to convince vaccine skeptics, many of whom are very distrustful of the French government and harbor intense animosity toward Mr. Macron himself and his top-down style of governing.

Some commenters on Mr. Macron’s videos asked questions about vaccines, others supported his efforts or even complimented his physical appearance, while detractors accused him of spouting propaganda and ignoring citizens’ concerns.

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“The president’s T-shirt isn’t going to make him more approachable, younger or more convincing,” Julien Odoul, a spokesman for the far-right National Rally party, told Franceinfo on Tuesday.


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