Scores of people joined an anti-vaccination march in the centre of Aberdeen this afternoon – as the number of people with Covid in Scottish ICUs reached a seven-month high.
Protesters gathered with signs in the Castlegate at around 1pm, before walking to the steps outside the St Nicholas Centre and then continuing on to gather outside the vaccination centre at the former John Lewis on George Street.
The unmasked crowd shouted “Don’t do it!” at people making their way to the entrance of the vaccine hub, which was guarded by a pair of police officers.
One woman, who held a large sign reading ‘Do not give up your freedom, do not comply’, said she was “not anti anything, just pro-choice”.
All those who approached the centre’s doors either for an appointment or a drop-in vaccination went in regardless.
Adora, a 15-year-old who was watching the protest from the roof of the St Nicholas Centre, said: “They’re protesting children getting the vaccine, but they’re not the children getting the vaccine.
“Their kids are in danger, and we’re in danger if they get what they want, which they won’t.”
Latest national statistics
The latest statistics from the Scottish Government show 27 more people with Covid have died in the past 24 hours, one of whom was in the Aberdeen City area.
Meanwhile, 12 more have been admitted to intensive care units across the country, bringing the current total to 99.
That is the highest ICU figure since February 22, continuing a general upward trend since the middle of last month.
The most recent report from Public Health Scotland shows that between mid-August and mid-September, 35% of Covid-related acute hospital admissions were unvaccinated people – despite them making up less than 9% of the over-18 population.
The majority of people admitted to hospital have had at least one vaccination, but this is a reflection of the fact that the uptake of the vaccine has been very high and it is not 100% effective.
An even more stark demonstration of the impact of vaccination comes from the death statistics: Since the end of last year, more than 83% of the people who died with the virus in Scotland were unvaccinated.