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Vaccination centres and outdoor testing facilities have been tagged with swastikas and graffiti. — Reuters pic
Vaccination centres and outdoor testing facilities have been tagged with swastikas and graffiti. — Reuters pic

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PARIS, Aug 11 — French Covid-19 vaccination centres have been hit by vandalism and daubed with Nazi-themed tags as the government steps up its vaccination drive.

Across the country, vaccination centres and outdoor testing facilities at pharmacies have been tagged with swastikas and graffiti such as “collaborator”, “Nazi” and “genocide” in recent weeks.

The same slogans have also been seen in some demonstrations against Covid health passes.

In Neuille-Pont-Pierre, in the Loire valley, late last month Stars of David – similar those Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis – were painted on a vaccination centre.

“We are cleaning off these horrors, this is odious. Other centres have also been hit by these racist and cowardly attacks. On the vaccination centre poster, a target was painted, as if for a weapon,” Neuille-Pont-Pierre mayor Michel Jollivet said on BFM television today.

BFM reported about one attack per day on average has taken place in recent weeks, often in small towns with little police presence or security cameras.

The attacks have increased ahead of the introduction this week of a mandatory health pass.

In Lans-en-Vercors, south-east France, anti-vaccine graffiti were painted on a community hall that housed a vaccine centre and fire hoses were opened intentionally, flooding the facility, local newspaper Le Dauphine reported.

“Wrecking a vaccination centre speaks volumes about the motives of the perpetrators, who will be tracked down,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said in a tweet.

In Urrugne, in the Pyrenees, the tent of a temporary vaccination centre was set on fire, while in Audincourt, eastern France, the power supply to a vaccination centre was cut off, endangering vaccine doses in fridges.

“There is no doubt that the vaccination centre was targeted,” Audincourt’s mayor Martial Bourquin told L’Express.

On Sunday, staff at a Toulouse vaccination centre found a note saying “One day, all this will blow up”, local media reported.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin says perpetrators will be severely punished but so far no major arrests have been made. — Reuters

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