Muslim doctors encourage residents to get their vaccine in Bromley

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The NHS in south east London is working with GPs, volunteers, and faith leaders at the Al-Emaan Mosque in Keston to offer the COVID-19 vaccination to people of all faiths and none.

The Al-Emaan Mosque was one of the first mosques in the country to open its doors to vaccinate residents. Dr Omar Taha, Bromley GP, trustee of the Mosque and the driving force behind the clinic at the Mosque said, “My message is simple, for those of you offered the vaccine, in particular those who are high risk, please do get yourselves vaccinated. Scientists have reviewed the data; independent regulatory bodies have reviewed the evidence and these vaccines are safe and effective. Please do protect yourselves so we can all move forward from this pandemic”.

With families and loved ones coming together to celebrate Ramadan, Muslim community members are encouraging people to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine and support each other to book and/or attend appointments if they are eligible.

There has been concern amongst those observing Ramadan that they may not be able to take the COVID-19 vaccine whilst fasting. Dr Hasib Ur-Rub, GP and Chair of the Bromley GP Alliance, who are running several of the vaccination centres in Bromley and are working with the Al-Emaan Mosque said, “Muslim scholars agree that it is acceptable to have the vaccine during Ramadan because of its benefits and the fact that it is taken out of medical need. As it is an intramuscular injection that does not provide any nutritional benefit, scholars are clear that the vaccine does not break the fast. It is halal and contains no meat products.” He added, ‘The Covid-19 virus does not discriminate against age, gender, race, religion, or background. Each person has a moral duty to protect their own health as well as an ethical duty to protect those around them and a responsibility for the sustainable use of the NHS. We can try and shield from the virus, develop natural immunity with all the risk that that carries, or we can do the right thing and get vaccinated’.

Imam Hasan from Al-Emaan Mosque said: ‘I fully encourage individuals to be vaccinated – protecting yourself and others is an invaluable teaching in Islam. The Mosque has consistently sought to serve and engage with the local community in various ways, through co-founding the Bromley 3 Faiths group, opening its doors to individuals of all backgrounds for welcome events, and working with local schools to assist national curriculum targets. We hope that running this vaccine clinic will be a further step in the Mosque being a local hub in the community and in doing our small bit to protect lives.’

If you are aged 45 and over, an eligible frontline health worker, you receive a Carers Allowance, have a learning disability, are clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk) or clinically vulnerable (moderate risk) – you can book your vaccine at a mass vaccination site or participating pharmacy online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 without needing an invitation. Or you can wait to be contacted by your GP service who will offer you a vaccine at one of the GP led sites available across Bromley.

If you are not eligible for the vaccine yet, wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it is your turn to have the vaccine. In Bromley, we have six GP led vaccination hubs, two chemists and a mass vaccination site at the Bromley Civic Centre offering the vaccine to residents. Pop up clinics, such as the one at the mosque, are being set up in areas of need to help people get their vaccine as easily as possible. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Bromley and south east London, please visit www.selondonccg.nhs.uk

You can watch a video of how vaccinations are being delivered at the Mosque or listen to local resident Arlene McLeod talk about having her jab at the Mosque