French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that avoiding vaccination was a demonstration of “irresponsibility,” with his statement coming shortly after large-scale protests erupted in the country against the health passes and compulsory vaccination for some professions.
Around 161,000 people went out to protest in France on 24 July. The protests saw activists clashing with police forces in some cities.
“The freedom where I do not owe anyone anything does not exist. What is your freedom worth if you tell me that you do not want to get vaccinated? If tomorrow you will infect your father, your mother or myself, I am the victim of your freedom,” the president said as quoted by BFMTV, adding that “It is not freedom, it is called irresponsibility, egoism.”Speaking in front of the healthcare workers at a hospital in Tahiti, Macron reportedly said that all medical professionals he had encountered during his visit to French Polynesia believed in vaccination.
“As we speak, given this Delta variant, the pandemic is about to pick up again. My message is simple: get vaccinated,” Macron said.The French president announced earlier in July a series of new restrictions to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Starting in August, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, airplanes and long-distance trains will require a special pass indicating that a person has either been vaccinated or has a recent negative test result for COVID-19. In addition, vaccination will be made obligatory for healthcare workers.