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Vaccination obligation: opponents in the street in Brittany and France – France

Several hundred people, “thousands” according to the CGT-Health, demonstrated Tuesday against the vaccine obligation, which will apply from Wednesday to staff of hospitals and retirement homes.

They were about 200 in front of the Ministry of Health in Paris, noted an AFP journalist, an official of the CGT-Health estimating their number rather “between 300 and 400”. There were 200 demonstrators in front of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Occitanie in Toulouse and that of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in Lyon, 80 in Orléans.

In Brittany, several gatherings took place, in particular with several dozen people in front of the Rennes University Hospital, around a hundred to Saint Brieuc, Morlaix and Vannes.

In Paris, the participants came “to express a rather intense anger against this authoritarian injunction” which will “generate tensions and chaos”, affirmed the general secretary of the CGT-Santé, Mireille Stivala. “We can no longer allow ourselves to lose caregivers”, she added, fearing “bed closures” and “degraded care for the population”.

“Against obligation and sanctions”

As of Wednesday, employees of hospitals and nursing homes (as well as firefighters, paramedics and home helpers) may be suspended, without remuneration, if they have not received at least one dose of covid-19 vaccine. “Whether we are vaccinated or not, we are opposed to the obligation”, testified Valérie, 57, nursing assistant of the Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP), recalling that the carers are “already understaffed” and were sometimes “forced to come to work even when sick” at the start of the epidemic.

However, some gave in to the ultimatum, such as Cornelia, 47, a psychiatric nurse at Sainte-Anne hospital, “vaccinated on returning from vacation, under duress” because “we cannot do without a salary” . In Rennes, Delphine Bonsergent, psychologist, recalls that “the CGT is not against vaccination” but “against the obligation and the sanctions”.

We already have a significant shortage of caregivers, which we will accentuate with this vaccination obligation

In the procession of Lyon, Frédérique Fournier, CGT union delegate and nursing assistant at the Vaugneray clinic, underlines that “we already have a significant shortage of caregivers, which will be accentuated with this vaccination obligation”. Georgina, SUD health activist and medico-psychological aid in a medico-educational institute in Toulouse, believes that “anger against this past crystallizes all the problems encountered in a bloodless sector”.

12% of caregivers in hospitals and nursing homes

“Throughout this pandemic we explained to people that even at the point of death they had to come to work because we lacked staff”, exasperated Michel Soulié, 51, nurse in the psychiatric sector at CH Alpes-Isère in Saint-Égrève, on the outskirts of Grenoble. “And the result now, do we throw them out?” But it is incomprehensible ”.

Largely in the minority, the unvaccinated represented less than 12% of caregivers in hospitals and nursing homes last week, according to Public Health France, but the directors of establishments and health authorities expect a much lower proportion.