A Brent mosque will open as a Covid vaccination centre this week aiming to give 1,000 coronavirus jabs per day.
The Central Mosque Brent in Willesden, which is already operating as a site for coronavirus lateral flow tests, plans to open on Friday (February 26).
The vaccine site will be the first to offer both the vaccine and testing in the same location but separation will be made between the two areas to reduce the risk of infection.
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Brent residents aged 64 and over will be able to contact the NHS directly to book their vaccine but those below that age will still have to wait to be contacted.
Just under 20 per cent of Brent’s 331,000 population is Muslim, and with hesitance from people in BAME groups across the country to take the vaccine, the mosque will play an important part in improving uptake.
Dr Raja Amjid Riaz, an NHS consultant and coronavirus leader at the mosque, said hosting the centre is necessary for the whole community.
Dr Riaz said: “This is an absolutely necessary service for the whole local community.
“The Pakistani and BAME communities have been over-represented in the number of infections and deaths. This is a logical step in the right direction in our fight against Covid-19.”
Brent Council and Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are also working alongside the mosque to help increase uptake and stop the spread of misinformation.
Dr Riaz said: “The distribution of vaccine information has to be in multiple languages.
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“Importantly, there has to be a local delivery of the vaccination program in areas and spaces where [people] feel safe and familiar. We need to provide a counterbalance to misinformation on [social media] platforms.”
People over the age of 64 can book their coronavirus vaccine by visiting nhs.uk/covid-vaccination.
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