A walk-in vaccination centre in Bristol has been forced to close early after ‘anti vaxxers’ staged a mass protest outside it.
This afternoon more than 50 protesters gathered outside Cabot Circus’ walk-in vaccination clinic, encouraging shoppers not to get the vaccine.
They used loudspeakers to spread anti-vaccination messaging and covered the clinic in posters which read “there is no pandemic” -forcing it to close at 2pm rather than 7pm.
NHS Bristol tweeted this afternoon: “Today’s mass vaccination clinic at Cabot Circus has now closed for the day. There are lots of alternative clinics in the coming days, please see http://grabajab.net for details.”
Christina Gray, Director of Public Health for Bristol, replied: “So very sorry that staff and the public have been subject to intimidation. It is not acceptable. I hope that no one has been hurt.”
Children and a retired NHS nurse were among the protestors sprawling anti-vax messaging over the second floor of the busy shopping centre this afternoon.
Police say they monitored the protest as the organisers had chosen not to engage with officers.
Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement: “A protest took place in Bristol this afternoon, Saturday 21 August.
“About 60 people gathered at Castle Park at about 1pm and marched to Cabot Circus where they demonstrated outside a vaccination centre from about 2.30pm.
“The protest was monitored by police as the organisers had chosen not to engage with officers.
“Neighbourhood and patrolling officers were in contact with clinic staff and with the shopping centre security team throughout.
“Both police and security officers were present at the vaccination centre to facilitate peaceful protest.”
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The protest, which is one of several demonstrations which have taken place in the city since the beginning of the pandemic, comes as Covid numbers continue to rise in the city.
Three deaths in the Bristol region were confirmed in the Government’s official figures today (Saturday August 21).
Bristol has also recorded 306 further positive cases of Covid in the last 24 hours.
Read more about the protest in our live blog