More than 100,000 protest Macron’s plan to ‘piss off the unvaccinated’

More than 100,000 people across France protested on Saturday over what they say are government plans to further restrict the rights of the unvaccinated.

More than 100,000 protest Macron's plan to 'piss off the unvaccinated'
Demonstrators hold a banner reading " The youth piss off the vaccine front " during a protest against the health pass on Saturday. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

The protest came only days after French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to “piss off” those refusing the jab.

The turnout was four times higher than the numbers who answered the December 18 call to protest, when 25,500 people marched across the country, according to government estimates.

The protests oppose a planned law that will require individuals to prove they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus before they can eat out, travel on inter-city trains or attend cultural events.

On Thursday, France’s lower house of parliament passed the controversial bill in a first reading. The government has said it expects the new requirements to be implemented by January 15, although lawmakers in the Senate could now delay the process.

About 18,000 protesters gathered in Paris. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

Interior ministry officials said 105,200 people participated in Saturday’s protests across France, 18,000 of them in the capital Paris, where police reported 10 arrests and three officers slightly injured. Elsewhere there were 24 arrests and seven police officers lightly injured according to the ministry.

Among the larger demonstrations, around 6,000 demonstrators turned out in Toulon, while in Montpellier police used teargas during clashes with protesters.


France recorded 303,669 new coronavirus cases on Saturday amid mounting pressure on hospitals.

The Paris protesters, many of them unmasked, braved the cold and rain brandishing placards emblazoned with the word “truth” and “No to vaccine passes”.

Others took aim at Macron, using the same coarse language he employed in his attack on people holding out against vaccination earlier in the week.

Macron said Friday that he fully stands by controversial remarks he made on Tuesday, when he vowed to “piss off” people not vaccinated against Covid-19 until they accept shots.

The earthy language and uncompromising approach provoked uproar in French media and from opponents.

Member comments

  1. The Macron obsession with vaccinations has now reached ludicrous levels. Last Sunday the ministry of health gave written instruction that vaccinated but Covid infected healthcare workers can carry on working in French hospitals. So, now we have the crazy situation where unvaccinated , uninfected healthcare workers are suspended whilst vaccinated, infected workers carry on working. Is this nuts or what ?

      1. Try looking up LBC and The Independent and a host of others . Hard to believe it’s not circulating in the French media. The only restrictions quoted by the ministry, is that their symptoms should not be too severe and they should minimise contact with co-workers and patients.

        1. I read French media regarding French matters – you should try it. Most of the British ones tend to carer to the British anti-French mentality and present a very twisted picture of reality.

          I did find related information on franceinfo – however, unsurprisingly, it is not what you painted it to be. It is a part of emergency plans for Omicron wave adopted by the French government, where such staff might be allowed to work if:
          – huge numbers of healthcare workers (in the region of 50%) are off work because of COVID
          – and only in specific locations

          As of now, this haven’t happened yet.

          1. According to AP it’s rolling out this week. BTW , first time I’ve heard that The Independent is ‘anti-French’. Seems you have a bad case of ‘shoot the messenger’.

          2. The regulation is “rolling out” – not the actual use of sick workers. That would happen (or not) when it is needed.

          3. The regulation being rolled out next week is an exemption to self-isolation requirements for healthcare workers . It will not be employed uniformly but will empower individual hospitals to make the decision for themselves. The 50% of staff absent you quoted is the criteria that Marseilles hospital will use. Why the Government prefers to retain vaccinated, Covid infected staff whilst suspending unvaccinated, uninfected staff will no doubt remain a mystery.

          4. Keep your nose out of French affairs that are designed to protect French citizens. If you are not prepared to abide by your host country’s rules, go back to your plaque island. Try reading some decent French papers for a change, you might learn something to your advantage. Hang on though, they are in French.

          5. Unless, Boggy, French citizens are anatomically different from everyone else, explain how this instruction /exemption is protective of their health. You seem, however, to be intellectually incapable of addressing the issue in any of your posts so why do you bother ? Were you a bit ‘slow’ at school ?

          6. Why are you so rude?

            You obviously don’t like the French government helping their citizens, perhaps you’d be happier as the previous poster mentioned returning to your preferred home country.

          7. I would love it, Harley, if the French Govt were to help their citizens. So would millions of French citizens. Like Boggy, of course, you confuse Government with country. You might have left all your critical faculties at Dover but that’s not the case , fortunately, for most. As for being rude, I think if you look at the posts in the order they were posted you’ll find that ‘being rude’ is not only Boggy’s default position but his only reason for posting.

          8. I think you are confusing country and governments roles in protecting their citizens, and looking at your other posts, rude is most definitely your raison d’être.

            Do not bother to reply, I really am not interested in your “British” opinion, people like yourself was one of the many reasons I left to find a much better place to live.

          9. Governments come and go. If you support them blindly, you’ll end up going dizzy from all the somersaulting. By the way , my posting on the Govt exemption to allow Covid infected doctors and nurses to carry on working was not a ‘British’ opinion, just an opinion. You and boggy should try engaging with the subject or don’t bother posting.

          10. Read more intelligent journals than this blog and the Daily Mail and you never know even you might learn something But one doubts it.

    1. Hi all. Thanks for commenting on stories on The Local. It’s good to read the views of readers, but some of the comments descend into personal abuse which we cannot accept. When commenting please stick to the subject and make your point without resorting to personal attacks. We will be forced to close the comment section if readers cannot be civil to each other and ban them from commenting. Thanks. Ben McPartland (managing editor)

  2. I don’t suspect monsieur Macron is too bothered about 100,000 anti vaxers, they are your usual antiestablishment nutters, they probably wouldn’t vote for him anyway.

    I suspect the majority of the French people are happy that action is finally being taken against the selfish minority l know I certainly am.

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Are people who’ve had the single J&J jab no longer fully vaccinated in Germany?

Germany's federal vaccine agency says that people who've had one dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine should no longer be classed as being fully vaccinated.

People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt.
People queue for a vaccination in Quedlinburg, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Matthias Bein

People who’ve had J&J, sometimes known as Janssen, used to have full vaccination status after a single dose of the vaccine. 

Since January 15th, however, a single dose of J&J should no longer count as full vaccination, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the country’s vaccine authority. 

In autumn last year the German government began recommending a second mRNA jab for people who’d had J&J – which many people thought was the booster vaccination. 

However, according to the PEI’s update on proof of vaccination within the Covid Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance and the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance, the second shot is needed to complete ‘basic immunisation’.

It is unclear at this stage if it means that people returning or coming to Germany from abroad with only one shot of J&J will be counted as partially vaccinated and therefore need to present tests or face other forms of barriers to entry. 

We are also looking into what this means for the various health pass rules in states, such as the 3G rules for transport. 

The Deutsches Ärzteblatt, a German-language medical magazine, said: “Special rules according to which one dose was recognised as a complete vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are no longer applicable.”

The Local has contacted the German Health Ministry for clarification on what this means for those affected. 

According to the latest government figures, 5.3 million doses of Johnson & Johnson have been given out in Germany so far in the vaccination campaign. 

The news will come as a shock to those who don’t know that they need another jab, or haven’t got round to getting their second vaccine yet. 

All other jabs – such as BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – already require two jabs. 

People in Germany are seen as fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose. 

What about boosters?

As The Local Germany has been reporting, the German government said in December that people who’ve had J&J need a third shot three months after their second dose to be considered boosted.

A German Health Ministry spokesman told us last week that due to more vaccination breakthrough infections affecting people who’ve had the J&J vaccine, extra protection was needed.

“Therefore, after completion of the basic immunisation as recommended by STIKO, i.e. after administration of two vaccine doses (preferably 1x J&J + 1x mRNA), following the current recommendation of the STIKO, a further booster vaccination can subsequently be administered with a minimum interval of a further three months, as with the other approved Covid-19 vaccines,” the Health Ministry spokesman said. 

However, there has been much confusion on this front because some states have been accepting J&J and another shot as being boosted, while others haven’t.


It is unclear if the new regulation will mean that states will all have to only accept J&J and two shots as being boosted. 

North Rhine-Westphalia, for instance, updated its regulations on January 16th and now requires that people who’ve had J&J and one shot have another jab to be boosted. 

Having a booster shot in Germany means that you do not have to take a Covid-19 test if you’re entering a venue, such as a restaurant or cafe, under the 2G-plus rules.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute said that proof of complete vaccination protection against Covid takes into account “the current state of medical science”.