By Gabriel Kenedi
updated on 17 Aug 21 at 16:44
It is consternation at Saint-Orens-de-Gameville (Haute-Garonne), where the Covid-19 vaccination center in this town of some 11,000 inhabitants, located to the south-east of Toulouse, has been vandalized on the night of Monday 16 to Tuesday 17 August 2021. Here is what we know about the first elements of the investigation.
“They were at least two”
The coup had obviously been well prepared. According to our information, the intrusion into the vaccination center located in Espace Marcaissonne would have occurred shortly before midnight.
“According to the gendarmerie, it seems that there were at least two. They entered through a side door on the north side ”, testifies Jean-Pierre Godefroy, the first deputy mayor of Saint-Orens.
“In principle, the center closes at 7 p.m. and the alarm does not go into place until midnight. Between 8 p.m. and midnight, this period is reserved for meticulous maintenance of the premises. The alarm therefore did not work since this intrusion took place before midnight, ”he adds.
3,500 doses of vials destroyed or out of use
The intruders obviously had a goal: put Pfizer vaccine doses out of use which were stored in the building.
“They put all the documentation on the ground. It seems they got into a computer but above all, they forced the door where there was the stock of vaccines. There were 548 doses which were all destroyed or put. out of order, since the cold chain has been broken “
In the middle of the afternoon, the prefecture has reassessed the number of doses lost on the rise. Indeed, these are vials (containing up to seven doses of vaccine) that were destroyed. “This represents around 3,500 doses lost, or the equivalent of nearly a week of vaccination”, indicated the prefecture of Haute-Garonne, Tuesday afternoon which denounced “unacceptable acts”.
“Étienne Guyot, Prefect of the Occitanie region, Prefect of Haute-Garonne, and Pierre Ricordeau, Director General of ARS Occitanie strongly condemn these acts and recall that vaccination is our main instrument in the fight against covid-19 epidemic, ”adds the prefecture.
Destruction of vaccine doses is a sad first in the city Toulouse. One threatening message had been found at the Toulouse vaccinodrome last August 8, and two days earlier, the order of nurses had been vandalized with anti-pass inscriptions but never had doses been destroyed since the start of the vaccination campaign.
“People who are against the vaccine”
The case is therefore taken very seriously by the Toulouse public prosecutor’s office, which entrusted the investigations to the gendarmes of the research brigade of the Villefranche-de-Lauragais company and to the research section of Toulouse. In the morning, the police proceeded to first findings and the building was cordoned off. A complaint was filed in the early afternoon by the town hall of Saint-Orens. At midday, no arrest had been made as part of the investigation.
“There were no tags or any claims”, notes Jean-Pierre Godefroy. “I tend to think that it was not young people from the neighborhood who did that; you had to be well informed and be well equipped to force the door where the doses were, ”he said.
And to add: “My feeling is that obviously, these are people who are against the vaccine or against the pass. This is my personal point of view but we will have to see what the investigation will give, ”underlines the first deputy.
The center will reopen on Wednesday
Within the vaccination center, we refused to make any comments. But it is obviously a feeling of incomprehension and dismay which predominated on Tuesday morning. Most of the people who had an appointment on Tuesday were warned by the ARS and are reported to the vaccination center in Labège.
From now on, the town hall of Saint-Orens has only one idea in mind: to make its vaccination center accessible again.
“We will do everything to reopen the center as quickly as possible. We will even try to have it operational tomorrow! All the services of the municipality are mobilized. And we are going to put in place a guard to make the site more secure, ”continues Jean-Pierre Godefroy.
In the middle of the afternoon, the prefecture confirmed that the reopening of the vaccination center on Wednesday “thanks to the mobilization of all professionals”.
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