Anti-vaccine protesters disrupt kids COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Currier Museum
11-year-old Oceanna Powers of Allenstown and her family were among hundreds who waited outside the Currier Museum of Art for a COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday evening.
The clinic was the first time the state’s mobile vaccine van offered the pediatric Pfizer vaccine for kids aged 5 to 11, which was officially recommended by the CDC last week.
The event drew a larger crowd than museum staff expected, director and CEO Alan Chong said. “I was ready to get my booster, but I might have to wait another day,” he joked.
The high demand for vaccines at this event represented a stark contrast to some of the clinics the mobile van held over the summer, which sometimes saw turnout in the single digits.
But the slow nature of the earlier clinics allowed Oceanna’s mother, Donna Powers, to get her concerns addressed by van staff.
At a previous clinic with the mobile van, she chose to vaccinate herself and her oldest daughter and return with Oceanna when she became eligible.
While families waited for the shot at the Currier clinic, children drew pictures and wrote messages like “Get Vaccinated” and “Kids understand what is going on!” on the pavement with chalk. People clapped and cheered as vaccinated children left the building.
For Oceanna Powers, the message she wrote on the pavement was also one of defiance towards a loud group of anti-vaccine mandate protestors who showed up at the event.
“She got right out there with her chalk,” Oceana’s mother, Donna Powers said.
The protesters were moved off museum property, and staff called the police.
Later in the evening, police arrested a man at the clinic for trespassing and resisting arrest.
Police said he was driving a Jeep in circles in the parking lot. Police said his behavior was "causing safety concerns for the children waiting and playing on the pavement."
Anti-vaccine mandate protestors have shown up to previous clinics held by the state’s mobile vaccine van.