Over 400 people were given the Covid-19 vaccination after a Croydon mosque was turned into a NHS ‘pop-up’ clinic on Saturday.
The NHS in South West London teamed up with Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre (CMIC) to offer the coronavirus vaccine between 1.15pm and 4pm to anyone aged over 50 or in an ‘at risk’ group over the age of 16 who had not already been jabbed.
The clinic, run by AT Medics GPs from the Thornton Road and Valley Park Surgery, was set up to encourage eligible people to get vaccinated in a location that is convenient and familiar to many in the community. The service was available for people in Croydon of all faiths, or none at all.
Volunteers from the mosque were on hand at the clinic as marshals to welcome and support people attending for their vaccination and to ensure safe social distancing was maintained.
Mr Nadir Mothojakan of Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre said, “Covid-19 vaccinations do not contain pork or any other animal products. They are halal, kosher and vegan friendly. All of the vaccinations are safe and effective, so please get the vaccination when you are offered it. You have a duty to protect yourselves and your families, so please encourage your friends and family to do so as well.”
Dr Quraishi, clinical lead and GP on site, said: “It has been wonderful to have vaccinated so many local people this weekend. Croydon mosque is in the heart of the local community and we are so pleased to have been able to work with them to help protect that community. It’s been great to hear how pleased our patients are being able to have their vaccine close to where they live. The Covid-19 vaccine gives you the best protection against Covid-19. The Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective and have been approved for use in the UK after meeting strict standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness. I would encourage everyone to take up the opportunity to have the vaccine when offered”
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, GP Borough Lead for Croydon, said: “We are very grateful to Croydon Mosque and Thornton Road and Valley Park Surgery and thank all those involved in setting up this fantastic ‘pop-up’ clinic, one of a number set up or planned across South West London. Everyone contributed towards making it a success with hundreds of people getting vaccinated.
“The NHS and our community partners such as Croydon Mosque are working hard to give out facts about the vaccine, let people know that it is safe and effective and provide reassurance for community members who may have questions about it – vaccinating as many people as possible across our borough is the most effective way of bringing Covid-19 under control.”
Zaynab has already had the vaccine at St Paul’s Church, it was her mum Sophia’s turn today.
“It’s important to have the vaccine as my daughter has already had it and so has my husband who are vulnerable. My mum lives with us and she has had her vaccine as she is over 75. It will help keep us safe. I’m looking forward to being able to meet each other again without having to worry.”
Lucy works as a healthcare assistant for the NHS. She had a baby last April and has been on maternity leave for much of the year but did go back to work during the first wave to support her colleagues.
“I was so pleased to see that I’ve got a chance to come and have my vaccination. I was so happy to be given that opportunity and that chance. Turning up this morning I was so amazed by the people who are queueing and the majority are black people which made me really proud because the message is sinking in that the vaccine is for everyone and there is nothing that is added and nothing that is bad that people have been talking about. It made me feel really good. Thank you for all that you’ve done for our community.”
Salome is an assistant head teacher of a primary school in Streatham Common
“As a teacher and for all our pupils and staff it is important for us to have the vaccine to be safe and to be able to continue to work. My mum is going to get the vaccine, she is a nurse and she has felt quite nervous about it. So important the fact this is here today, near such an ethnic community, as people have been very nervous. It’s so important to have something like this in a Mosque, in a place of worship, people feel they can trust that a bit more.”
Aaliyah heard about the clinic from a friend.
“It’s important for everyone to have the vaccine so we can overcome this pandemic at some point – instead of continuing in the lockdown cycle. I’m in my first year at university studying biomedical sciences and I haven’t met anyone on my course yet. Initially I was worried; there has been a lot in the news, but now people in my family have had the vaccine.”
Abdul lives nearby and works during the week so was pleased to see the Saturday pop up clinic
“I’m happy to have the vaccine. l look after my dad, he has had the vaccine at the GP surgery. Today is good.”
“I am a carer for my son who is autistic. My husband has already had the vaccine, my husband and son are here today. I’m pleased to get the vaccine today.”