US: Demonstration in Boston against mandatory flu vaccination
About a thousand people demonstrated in Boston on Sunday against the new obligation imposed on students in the state of Massachusetts to be vaccinated against the flu, a measure that seeks to limit the impact of a possible second wave of coronavirus.
Massachusetts authorities, led by Republican Governor Charlie Baker, highly critical of President Donald Trump, were the first in the United States to add the flu to the list of vaccines required for children from six months on August 19. Those who declare a medical or religious contraindication, and those who receive education at home or in a 100% virtual way, will be exempted.
But protesters, who massed peacefully outside the governor's office, mostly without masks, denounced an attack on individual rights, while 70% of Massachusetts school districts plan to at least partially reopen schools during back to school.
"Parents call the shots", "My child, my choice", read some of the banners the protestors carried in the streets.
Among the protesters were parents with their children, as well as representatives of paramedical professions such as Carla Leclerc, a chiropractor.
I am firmly against the proposed vaccination, especially against influenza, a vaccine that is not safe, necessary or effective, Leclerc told AFP.
Some protesters also raised flags calling for the re-election of President Donald Trump and others wore T-shirts of the far-right conspiracy movement "QAnon".
Several top health officials in the United States, including Robert Redfield, director of the state Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), have asked citizens to get vaccinated against the flu this year to avoid further aggravating the crisis of the coronavirus, without actually asking for it to be mandatory.
The state of Massachusetts, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic during the boreal spring like other states in the northeast of the country, is now part of the regions where it is under control.