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Some 300 Italian caregivers launch ‘democratic battle’ against forced vaccination

In Italy, 300 caregivers have taken legal action to put an end to the vaccination obligation they have been subjected to since April. In France, the debate is gaining momentum, with the executive having announced that it was considering promulgating such an obligation.

Published: July 4, 2021, 11:45 am

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    In Italy, 300 Italian caregivers have taken legal action to obtain the lifting of the obligation for medical and health personnel to be vaccinated against Covid-19, reported AFP, citing articles published in the Italian press. The appeal was lodged with the administrative court of Brescia on behalf of caregivers working in the Lombardy region in Brescia, Cremona, Bergamo and Mantua.

    A hearing is already scheduled for July 14. For the constitutional lawyer Daniele Granara, “it is not a battle of the ‘anti-vaxxers’ but a democratic battle. “We force people to take a risk saying that they will no longer be able to exercise their profession,” he explained in the daily Il giornale di Brescia.

    The lawyer also defended dozens of caregivers suspended for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The goal of caregivers is to abolish a law that came into force in April which states that “people working in socio-health structures, public and private, in pharmacies, drugstores and private practices are obliged to be subject to vaccination”.

    In the event of a breach, the offenders who come in contact with the public, are assigned to another service or suspended without pay if the employer has no new tasks to offer him. In addition to the elderly or vulnerable, caregivers, as well as teachers, were the first in Italy to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

    So far, 52,7 million doses have been administered and nearly 19,5 million Italians have been vaccinated, or 36 percent of the population over 12 years of age. According to recent data from the Covid-19 emergency unit, only 45 750 of the 1,9 million employees in the health sector (2,3 percent) are “waiting for a first dose or a single dose”.

    In France, voices are being raised to force vaccination among those who do not wish to do so. This legal battle has begun in Italy while in France, voices are multiplying to force vaccination among citizens who do not wish to submit to it.

    On June 29, BFMTV columnist Emmanuel Lechypre sparked a huge controversy by qualifying people who were not vaccinated as “public dangers”. The columnist continued his remarks on the air by declaring: “You will be vaccinated by force, I will have you taken by two policemen to the vaccination center. You have to go look for them armed and with handcuffs if necessary […] The non-vaccinated are public dangers, so I have a very clear approach: I’ll do everything to make them outcasts of society!”

    These openly discriminating remarks have been qualified as “quasi-fascist” by the leader of the Patriot party, Florian Philippot, who has demanded that the editorialist be withdrawn from public broadcasting.

    In fact, many individuals have contacted the broadcasting authority, the CSA to report these comments deemed hateful. On July 1, the public authorities also announced that they were considering a bill making vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for all caregivers. According to BFMTV, in a letter addressed to associations of local elected officials and group presidents, Prime Minister Jean Castex noted that “the vaccination coverage of caregivers remains generally insufficient” and expressed his “wish that the debate on the vaccine obligation [be] imposed” because it may be a good idea if “the advisability of establishing an obligation of isolation, were accompanied by sanctions”.

    On July 2, during a trip to Villeneuve-la-Garenne (Hauts-de-Seine), the Minister of Health Olivier Véran tried to reassure the French by stressing that the debate on forced vaccination concerned only caregivers, not “the general population”. The head of state Emmanuel Macron had promised that vaccination would not be compulsory.

    These recent government announcements combined with a Senate report that promotes compulsory vaccination for individuals between the ages of 24 and 59 have created great distrust among people who do not wish to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In particular during his address to the French on November 24, 2020, Macron said: “I also want to be clear, I will not make vaccination compulsory.”

    The current vaccines against Covid-19 raise unique medico-legal questions since these products have received only a “conditional” marketing authorization under an emergency procedure. They are therefore still considered as experimental vaccines that are part of medical research.

    French daily Liberation reported that the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM) recognizes that “phase 2 or 3 clinical trials were not completed at the time of the conditional marketing authorization”.

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