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Police accompanied South Australia’s Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier to her car after she was harassed by anti-vaccine mandate protesters while leaving the Supreme Court earlier today.

She had attended court to learn whether or not she would be required to testify in the case challenging state-imposed vaccine mandates, spearheaded by former AFLW player and nurse Deni Varnhagen.

Professor Spurrier was spared from giving evidence in the case that centres on whether Police Commissioner and Emergency Coordinator Grant Stevens had the power to declare the mandates.
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South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier
South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier was heckled by anti-vaccine mandate protesters today. (9News)

Health workers, police officers and teachers involved in the case have been arguing the mandates were beyond Mr Stevens’ emergency powers.

As the state’s chief health officer left court today, a small group of people supporting those challenging the mandates screamed at and booed her.

Some held a sign that read: “Vaccination: where there is a risk, there must be a choice”. At least half a dozen police officers formed a path for Professor Spurrier to walk through.

“Here comes the criminal” and “shame” were yelled in her direction as she was ushered into a waiting car which quickly drove down the street.

Anti-vaccine mandate protesters outside the South Australia Supreme Court.
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters outside the South Australia Supreme Court. (9News)

The case is moving forward regardless of a move last week which allows unvaccinated teachers and police officers to return to work.

SA Health Minister Chris Picton praised the works of Professor Spurrier in a tweet, and said today’s protester’s actions were an “absolute disgrace”.

“The vast majority of South Australians thank [Professor] Spurrier, a public servant who has devoted herself to the safety of the public.”

The court heard that Ms Varnhagen continues to receive a small income as a footballer, but otherwise has been working part-time as a labourer since losing her job as a nurse under the mandates.

The trial is ongoing.

Source: 9News

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