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Anti-vaccine protesters shut down Georgia vaccination clinic with bullying, harassment of health care workers

A Georgia vaccination site reportedly had to close its doors after anti-vaccine protesters took to the mobile venue and began bullying health care workers, the Washington Post reported.

What are the details?

The report cited Kathleen Toomey, Georgia’s Department of Public Health commissioner, who said that the hostility toward first responders and health care workers was way out of bounds for interfering with those working “tirelessly to keep people alive.”

During the clinic, protesters reportedly swarmed the north Georgia site and began harassing and bullying members of the vaccination team.

“This is wrong,” Toomey said during a Monday news conference. “This is absolutely wrong. These people are giving their lives to help others and to help us in the state. We in Georgia can do better.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, health care workers were “yelled at, threatened, and demeaned by some of the very members of the public they were trying to help.”

A spokesperson for Toomey told the outlet, “Aside from feeling threatened themselves, staff realized no one would want to come to that location for a vaccination under those circumstances, so they packed up and left.”

“It comes with the territory of someone in my position, but it shouldn’t be happening to those nurses who are working in the field to try to keep this state safe,” Toomey added during the Monday news conference. “We should be thanking these individuals for trying to get lifesaving vaccines to our state.”

According to the Macon Telegraph, about 43% of Georgians are fully vaccinated, and 50% have received at least one shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccination.

The disturbing report comes as the state faces a dangerous COVID-19 surge driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

According to a report from the New York Times, the state has seen a 35% increase in cases reported over the past 14 days.

What else is there to know about all this?

The Times reported that this was not the first time that angry protesters took out their frustrations on state health care workers.

“In one south Georgia county, the anti-vaxxers tracked down public health employees through social media and harangued them with messages of hostility and misinformation about vaccines,” the outlet said.

Last week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued an order deploying more than 100 National Guardsmen to area hospitals across the state in order to support the staff as they assist the public in trying to quash the alarming surge in coronavirus cases.

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