6 Feb 2021 – A Covid-19 vaccination clinic, run by local GPs, has been set up here in the London Muslim Centre, as part of the ongoing efforts to encourage eligible residents to get their jab.

The pilot clinic, run by AT Medics, is a local partnership between GPs from Whitechapel Health Centre, East London Mosque and Tower Hamlets Council. Those being vaccinated are within the first four priority cohorts, as set out in national guidance from ministers and advised by the JCVI, and they have pre-booked appointments made through the council’s new vaccine helpline. The helpline takes queries from residents, but also calls and books in eligible residents who have not yet taken up the offer of vaccination.

The GP team have already vaccinated thousands of patients at the local Cable Street Surgery in the past two weeks. They are experienced in rapidly setting up effective vaccination services and employ bilingual staff in order to meet the needs of communities in Tower Hamlets.

Partners are working together to give the facts about the vaccine to build trust in our communities explaining that it is safe and effective, there are no animal or egg products, that it is vegan, halal and kosher friendly, and that the vaccine is the best form of protection from Covid-19 and our best chance to return to a normal way of life.

Hundreds of eligible men and women have been be vaccinated in Saturday’s pilot at the London Muslim Centre, part of East London Mosque in Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets. The pilot could be replicated elsewhere to make vaccinations as accessible as possible to London’s communities, in what is the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.

If you are 70 or over and have not had a COVID-19 vaccination already, you can call AT Medics on 020 7364 3030 to book an appointment. This free service is available for both men and women.

Dilowar Hussain Khan, Director of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre, said:

In consultation with Islamic scholars and medical professionals, we firmly believe that vaccination is the best way to combat the pandemic and return to our normal way of life. In Islam, preservation of life is of the utmost importance, so we want to do our part to reassure those who are hesitant about vaccination. We stand with the NHS, AT Medics and Tower Hamlets Council in this partnership to help our communities.

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 want to thank the East London Mosque, local GPs and our council staff for their work to make today possible. 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.

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 6,000 local people in the past two weeks, we hope this initiative will encourage many more patients to come forward when invited.

Selina Douglas, Managing Director of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest CCGs, said:

The NHS, working in partnership with councils, community and faith groups and volunteers, has already vaccinated thousands of people in north east London – providing safe and effective protection against this devastating virus for those most at risk. We are delighted that our communities are wholeheartedly supporting the vaccination programme in initiatives such as this session at the East London Mosque, and we are working with other groups to do the same. We encourage everyone to have the jab when offered but please continue to follow government guidelines to reduce transmission and help save lives.

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