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Monday, March 20, 2023

Vaccination Centres In France Ransacked Over Tougher Coronavirus Rules

The violence and vandalism came on a weekend of demonstrations against Covid measures

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Divya Dhadd
Divya Dhadd

FRANCE: Two Covid vaccination centres in France have been ransacked amid protests over the government’s introduction of tougher coronavirus rules.

Police were on Monday investigating what local media called an arson attack on a vaccination centre in south-western France. The mayor of the town of Urrugne, near Biarritz, said he was told about Saturday’s fire at 3 am on Sunday morning.

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This has been the second incident since more than 100,000 people took to the streets across France against the latest government measures to make vaccinations compulsory for care workers in the health service.

Authorities said the first incident took place on Friday night when a vaccination centre in south-eastern France near Grenoble was vandalised and flooded with fire hoses. Anti-vaccine graffiti was scrawled near the vaccination centre in Lans-en-Vercors. 

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It is thought that it was two recent measures that infuriated protestors. 

Access to most public places in France will soon require a mandatory ‘health pass’ showing that the holder is either fully vaccinated or has recently tested negative for Covid-19.

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Meanwhile, vaccination against the virus for health care workers is to become compulsory.

Also Read: Third Dose Of Covid Vaccine In Question

Critics have accused French President Emmanuel Macron’s government of violating their liberty.

Meanwhile, during Saturday’s rally in Paris, French politician Martine Wonner told protesters to “lay siege” to the offices of lawmakers who favoured the government’s Covid policies.

France has witnessed several acts of violence against lawmakers who supported the new vaccination rules. Yet hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the jabs since 12 July, after Macron unveiled the rules on vaccination. 

His government is attempting to curb the spread of the fatal Delta variant, which is causing a surge in hospital admissions.

Surveys suggest there is a high vaccine hesitancy in France. While scientists are warning of a possible fourth wave during the summer, only around half of the population has received the first dose and less than 40% are fully vaccinated.


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