COVID-19: Five police officers injured after violence breaks out at anti-vaccine protest in London

·2-min read

Five police officers have been injured after anti-vaccine protests in London turned violent, the Metropolitan Police said.

Ten people were arrested amid demonstrations at the headquarters of the UK vaccine regulator in Canary Wharf, east London, and the Science Museum in South Kensington, according to the Met.

"Crowds quickly became hostile when they reached a building in Canary Wharf," the force wrote on Twitter.

"Officers were faced with shocking scenes of violence. With units being pushed and shoved.

"The group then moved to South Kensington where crowds continued to clash with police. Throughout the day, our officers worked hard to de-escalate any conflict."

Hundreds of anti-coronavirus vaccine protesters gathered outside the building for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) earlier on Friday.

Footage on social media showed them trying to storm the premises, with officers blocking their way in.

Canary Wharf councillor Andrew Wood said that 'anti-vax' leaflets were being handed out in the area as crowds began to form.

The demonstrations then moved to the Science Museum, west London, where officers experienced further clashes.

It came as former Coronation Street actor Sean Ward was pictured outside the museum being led away by police.

The Met condemned the violence, writing in their Twitter post: "These ugly scenes are not why police officers come into work.

"This level of violence is totally unacceptable and it will not be tolerated."

The MHRA is the body responsible for approving the use of coronavirus vaccines in the UK.

It is then down to the government's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to manage the rollout according to age and clinical need.

On Friday the JCVI recommended that only 12 to 15-year-olds with certain underlying conditions should be given COVID jabs and that there is not enough evidence to justify the entire age group getting a vaccine.

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