Europe

Vandals attack French vaccination centre and destroy 500 COVID vials

Around 500 vials of COVID-19 jabs were destroyed in France after a vaccination centre near Toulouse was vandalised.

The damage occurred overnight on Tuesday at a community hall in the southwestern town of Saint-Orens-de-Gameville.

Mayor Dominique Faure told AFP that it was not yet possible to say if the damage was caused by anti-vaxxers.

“It was a case of classic vandalism, tables and chairs were broken as well as two computer screens,” she said, adding that the hall’s alarm system had not worked.

Five hundred vials of vaccine were also destroyed on-site, according to a source close to the investigation.

The town hall of Saint-Orens-de-Gameville has filed a complaint and Toulouse prosecutors have launched an investigation.

The vaccination centre should resume its activities “before the end of the week”, said Faure.

The mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, offered his support to the town on Twitter following the vandalism.

“Disgusted by this new act of vandalism against a vaccination centre,” Moudenc said, “the violence and intimidation must stop so that everyone can freely choose to be vaccinated.”

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin also “strongly condemned” the damage in a statement to AFP.

Last week, Darmanin called on local authorities to increase security at vaccination centres and pharmacies following a number of acts of vandalism.

In July, an arson attack destroyed a tent housing a vaccination centre in the southern town of Urrugne, while another fire partially destroyed a centre in Gap in June.

Several thousand people have been demonstrating in France every weekend against the new measures requiring a COVID-19 health certificate to enter bars, restaurants and places of culture.

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