Tents slashed and covered in graffiti as Cornwall GP surgery targeted by anti-vaxers

The temporary vaccination marquees were slashed and graffiti was sprayed on the walls. Credit: Mount Hawke Surgery

A vaccination centre set up by a Cornwall GP surgery has been vandalised by anti-vaxers.

Graffiti was sprayed on the marquee and its walls were slashed at the site of the Mount Hawke Surgery in Truro.

The graffiti has now been scrubbed off and the rips have been taped up so that vaccinations could be carried out as planned.

The surgery has now also installed CCTV on the temporary centre, which has been used to administer 25,000 vaccines since January.

The walls of the marquee were slashed. Credit: Mount Hawke surgery

Karen Grayson, coastal primary care network strategic manager at the surgery, told ITV News the vandalism will not stop the team from carrying out vaccinations.

"This has been an extra service on top of our normal practice work and something we are pleased to be able to offer in a venue close to our patients and run by clinicians they know and trust," she said.

“It’s really sad that someone has done this at a time when cases of Covid are increasing in the community.

"Getting vaccinated not only protects you and your loves ones, but is our way out of this pandemic.

The slashed roof of the temporary marquee. Credit: Mount Hawke surgery

"If anyone has concerns or questions about the vaccine, then please talk to us – your practice team are really happy to discuss your concerns or queries with you on this or any other health matter

“This act of vandalism will not stop us from vaccinating people, and I encourage anyone who either hasn’t had their first or second dose to book an appointment by calling 119 or visiting nhs.uk.

"Anyone who’s eligible for a booster jab will be contacted when it’s their turn.”

Andrew Abbott, NHS Kernow’s director of integrated primary care, said the NHS has a "zero tolerance approach to abuse and intimidation levelled against staff."

He added: "We won’t hesitate to report all instances to ensure our staff and patients are safe, protected, and valued.“

The incident has been reported to Devon and Cornwall Police who are carrying out enquiries.

A spokesperson from the force said: "We are investigating reports of criminal damage to an outdoor tent at Mount Hawke Surgery last week [between 1pm on Tuesday 26 October and 7am the next day].

"The local team has been informed and enquiries are ongoing in relation to this matter. Reference is CR/093823/21."