Clinic at London’s largest mosque aims to counter vaccine hesitancy

Vaccinations across the UK began December 8. Pic: Steven Cornfield

The East London Mosque in Whitechapel has been transformed into a pop-up vaccination clinic in hopes that it will encourage BAME groups to get their Covid-19 jabs after false spreads of misinformation. 

The clinic in the Mosque, the largest in London, is being run by local GP’s as part of ongoing efforts to encourage eligible residents to get their jab. This follows the spread of misinformation surrounding the contents of the vaccine, making some members of BAME groups reluctant to have the vaccine. 

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “Getting vaccinated is vital to keeping our community safe from Covid-19. With dangerous misinformation circulating about the vaccine, it is grassroots initiatives like this which will help to build confidence and reduce vaccine hesitancy…I hope seeing friends and neighbours get their vaccine helps to encourage more people to get their jab as soon as they are eligible. It’s safe and will save lives”.

Vaccine hesitancy is highest among minority groups with seventy-two per cent of black/black British groups saying that they were unlikely/very unlikely to be vaccinated. This was shortly followed by forty-two per cent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups showing similar hesitancy. 

The East London Mosque has become a vaccination centre to help alleviate concerns about the Covid vaccine. Pic: East London Mosque

The clinic is being operated by AT Medics, a primary care service provider in conjunction with GP’s from the Whitechapel Health Centre, East London Mosque and the local Council. Their aim is to build trust with the community by providing facts about the vaccine whilst outlining its safety and effectiveness. The vaccine that is currently being offered at the Mosque is the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The council said: “There are no animal or egg products, it is vegan, halal and kosher friendly”.

Omar Din, Chief Executive Officer of AT Medics, said: “We are privileged to be partnering with East London Mosque to deliver vaccinations in the community. As local GPs, we’ve been very close to the challenges of patient vaccination up take in Tower Hamlets, and whilst we’ve already vaccinated over six thousand local people in the past two weeks, we hope this initiative will encourage many more patients to come forward when invited.”

The priority groups currently being vaccinated at the clinic include: care home residents/ their careers, frontline health, social care workers and over seventies. 

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