A FURIOUS father has blasted protestors who blocked the entrance to a Covid vaccination centre and prevented his daughter from receiving her second jab.

The father, who wished to be named only as "Neil", had taken his daughter to the new vaccine site at the former Topshop store in Churchill Square on Monday afternoon.

However, the centre was forced to close after hundreds of protestors gathered outside to demonstrate against its opening.

The Argus: Protestors gathered at the new vaccination centre in the former Topshop store at Churchill SquareProtestors gathered at the new vaccination centre in the former Topshop store at Churchill Square

As a result of the disruption, the Sussex Community NHS asked those with vaccination appointments at the new centre at Churchill Square not to attend.

Neil said his daughter became “tearful and angry” when she realised that she would not be able to receive her second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

He said: “My daughter is a student at the University. We were returning her to Brighton from Hampshire and moving her into her new student digs on the day her second jab was due.

The Argus: Kate Shemirani pictured outside the vaccination centre in BrightonKate Shemirani pictured outside the vaccination centre in Brighton

“She has been passionate about getting vaccinated, absolutely her choice with no pressure from anyone.

“Her appointment was for 2.15 and we arrived in good time only to find the protest going on outside the entrance of the centre.

“When it became apparent that the centre had been closed, she became tearful and angry, but this was alleviated somewhat when she received a call from the centre letting her know that she will be able to walk in from Wednesday.”

Notorious conspiracy theorist and former nurse Kate Shemirani, from East Sussex, was among the protestors.

Neil said he heard Ms Shemirani address the crowd through a microphone, while other protesters held placards with messages including “Can you trust the media?”.

He said: “She was equating the vaccination program to the holocaust among other things and asked her followers to photograph the staff for some reason or other.

“I posted a tweet about the experience out of a sense of anger at my daughter being prevented from accessing a medical procedure, and also that the protesters had not been removed from their position directly outside of the vaccination centre.”

Churchill Square shopping centre was also evacuated after a smoke flare was set off inside.

Footage showed orange smoke engulfing an area of the shopping centre after a flare appeared to have been placed inside a bin.

Sussex Police are now appealing for witnesses.

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw said: "We recognise the public's right to protest and our officers will work with organisers to ensure the safety of demonstrators and the general public, as well as to minimise disruption.

"Enquiries are currently ongoing into Monday's demonstration, particularly around the circumstances that led to what is believed to be a smoke bomb being set off. No arrests were made.

"We would encourage anybody who has any information which could help with the investigation to contact police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 048 of 30/08."

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