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coronavirus crisis

Vaccination centers vandalized in France amid protests against COVID-19 measures

As tens of thousands of protesters hit the streets to demonstrate against France's new COVID-19 measures, two vaccination sites were vandalized, French authorities said.

On Friday night, vandals used fire hoses to flood a clinic in Lans-en-Vercors, BBC News reports, and on Saturday, a site in Urrugne was partially destroyed in an arson attack. There was anti-vaccine graffiti also found near the clinic in Lans-en-Vercors.

Since the start of the pandemic, at least 111,000 people have died of COVID-19 in France. New coronavirus cases are on the rise, and the French government wants to stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. After scientists who advise the government warned that a fourth wave is on the way, French President Emmanuel Macron announced new mitigation measures, including mandatory vaccinations for health workers and passes to show people are fully vaccinated.

This triggered the weekend's protests, where demonstrators, encouraged by far-right politician Florian Philippot, marched with signs claiming their freedom was being taken away because of the measures. Slightly more than 50 percent of the French population has received one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and less than 40 percent is fully vaccinated. Since Macron's announcement, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to get vaccinated, BBC News reports.