The warning comes after high tensions over recent weeks as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets to rally against President Emmanuel Macron’s health pass policy which aims to encourage vaccination.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin sent a letter to senior local authority officials at the request of Macron seen by AFP in which he urged French police to mobilise to ensure better protection for vaccine centres across the country.
According to the interior ministry, some 22 acts of vandalism against testing and vaccination centres as well as pharmacies have been recorded since July 12th alone. Almost 60 threats have also been recorded.
In mid-July, a vaccination centre in Lans-en-Vercors in southeast France was flooded with a hosepipe, causing damage to equipment. Slogans such as “vaccinations are the new genocide” were found daubed on the walls.
Last weekend in the city of Toulouse a piece of paper was found at a vaccination centre warning that “one day this will all be blown up”.
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In a letter to healthworkers, Health Minister Olivier Véran said: “I will not accept any violence, any intimidation, any attack on your physical integrity or professional equipment.”
The protests over the last four weekends have mixed those who believe the health pass scheme encroaches on basic freedoms, anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists.
The health pass, which is needed to enter a cafe or restaurant and also to travel on an inter-city train, is generated in a QR code either by a full course of vaccinations, a recent negative virus test or a recovery from Covid-19.
The government believes the plan will ramp up the demand for vaccinations.