Bringing vaccinations to the local community was a great success with around 320 vaccines being given on the day.
The NHS in south east London teamed up with the Peckham Islamic Centre to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to community members from all faiths and none in Southwark, at a pop-up, walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic held on Saturday, 27 March 2021.
The clinic, run by Southwark GPs, was set up to encourage anyone who is eligible to get their jab in a location that is convenient and familiar to many in the community. Volunteers from the Mosque were on hand as marshals to welcome and support people attending for their vaccination and to ensure safe social distancing was in place.
The Mosque, Southwark Council, CCG, Community Southwark and other community organisations had reached out across the area ahead of the clinic to help ensure vaccinations reached the most vulnerable. BBC London also attended to help capture and promote the hard work of those in the clinic and to support the vaccination programme.
Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council who attended the pop-up session, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people getting their vaccine on Saturday. Pop-ups like this, are one of the many ways we are working to make sure people from all parts of the community feel the vaccine is available and right for them. I would like to thank everyone at Peckham Islamic Centre, including all the volunteers who were helping out, as well as all the NHS and council staff for their hard work in supporting our residents as they protect themselves, their loved ones and their community.”
Umar Elahi, Founding Trustee, Peckham Islamic Centre, called on people to take up this opportunity to take the vaccine. He said: “Covid-19 vaccinations do not contain pork or any other animal products. They are halal, kosher and vegan friendly. All the vaccinations are safe and effective, so please take the vaccination that you are offered. You have a duty to protect yourselves and your families, so please accept the vaccination when offered and encourage your friends and family to do so as well.”
Ali, a member of Peckham Mosque decided to take the vaccine, because it is being offered at his place of work. He said “I took the vaccine, because prevention is better than cure and I would like to be able to travel once it is permitted”
This clinic is just one way in which the NHS, Southwark Council and partner organisations are working together to help ensure Southwark people are able to protect themselves, their loved ones and communities from COVID-19. Other initiatives have included the recruitment of trained Community Ambassadors, public information and discussion forums, public outreach to understand concerns and materials in a variety of languages.
Local GPs supported this clinic
Dr Nancy Küchemann, GP and member of NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body, who has been working on Southwark’s vaccination programme since December said: “the NHS and community partners have been working hard with local residents to be able to provide facts about the vaccine and to reassure people that it is safe and effective. It’s fantastic that everyone has come together to provide a clinic in the Mosque which will boost the local effort and reassure community members who may still be thinking about accepting their vaccine. We are delighted that Peckham Islamic Centre has opened their doors in such a welcoming way and this is a tribute to the strength of our local partnerships in Southwark”.
Dr Abbasi, clinical lead and GP on site, said: “The Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. All vaccines approved for use in the UK must meet strict standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness. The Covid-19 vaccine gives you the best protection against Covid-19. Although vaccines are being administered to millions of people across the country, Covid-19 is still among us and infectious. The risk of catching Covid-19 is the same as ever for people who are not vaccinated so please take up this offer to protect yourself from the severe effects of Covid-19 like I have.”
To find out more about the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Southwark and for more information about the programme in south east London, please visit www.selondonccg.nhs.uk