Covid vaccination: Hove jab unit shuts after protest

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image captionA mobile vaccine site at Hove Lawns has been paused after staff "experienced disruption"

A vaccination service has temporarily shut after disruption by protesters opposed to coronavirus restrictions.

The mobile service in Hove, East Sussex, was paused to ensure people can get the jab "safely and without pressure," a local NHS body said.

Surge testing is under way in Brighton and Hove due to a rise in Covid cases.

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty said it was "incredibly disappointing to see the irresponsible actions of a few putting in danger the many".

"We reaffirm our city's need to keep our population safe and we won't be deterred from our important vaccination programme by the acts of cowards spreading misinformation," the Green Party councillor said.

Footage posted on social media appeared to show protesters chanting as a vaccine bus left Hove Lawns, escorted by police.

NHS Brighton and Hove said staff on the mobile unit had "experienced disruption" during an anti-lockdown protest on Saturday, and the service would remain closed on Sunday.

It said it continued to be "fully committed to the roll out of the vaccination programme and ensuring that everyone in the city is able to access their vaccination".

A walk-in clinic continued at Brighton Racecourse on Sunday and a free taxi service was available for anyone unable to make the journey, it said.

Sussex Police said the vaccine clinic in Hove had closed for the day by the time protesters arrived, and nobody was prevented from receiving a vaccine on Saturday.

"The officers present engaged with those taking part in the protest, and the staff working at the vaccine clinic, to ensure the safety of all persons present," the force said.

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