A pop-up clinic in a Southfields mosque vaccinated 1000 people with their second dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine last Tuesday.
The Ahmadiyya community’s Fazl Mosque hosted a team of 15 NHS staff from the Wandle Primary Care Network in Wandsworth to boost low-vaccine uptakes in the area, following up on a previous pop-up at the mosque 11 weeks earlier.
The pop-up clinics are part of Phase 2 of the UK’s vaccination strategy, aiming to provide first doses to all over-18s and second doses to two-thirds of UK adults by 19 July.
Clinical director of the Wandle Primary Care Network Laura Quinton said: “The vaccination programme in the UK has been absolutely fantastic and in Wandsworth it has been very successful.
“Everyone has been in, gotten in, and gotten it done. We’re on the last legs of it, really”.
The Ahmadiyya community provided the mosque grounds along with volunteer stewards to ensure the smooth running of operations.
Community spokesperson Mahmood Rafiq said the aim was to support the UK’s vaccination programme and provide a safe space for members of the BAME community to take the vaccine comfortably.
He said: “As Muslims, service to humanity is our duty, and we have been clear that we fully support the vaccination program.
“This is why we have set up several vaccination clinics across our mosque sites in the UK to play our role in fighting COVD-19.
“Let me also take this opportunity to thank our NHS heroes who are working hard to protect the health of the nation. They deserve our constant prayers and immense gratitude.”
Labour MP for Putney Fleur Anderson and the Mayor of Wandsworth Richard Fields also turned up to show their support for the efforts, and handed out presents purchased by the Ahmadiyya community during a ceremony outside the mosque.
Anderson praised the NHS staff and the Ahmadiyya community for hosting the event.
She added: “It’s amazing to have 1000 people coming to the mosque today, and it is right to have it at a centre run by people who know the community because there is trust.
“It’s really important to have the vaccine. It’s so important everyone takes the vaccine when they are offered it.”
Over 72 million vaccinations have been provided since the UK launched its vaccination programme back in December, with 30.6 million of those being second doses, meaning around 46% of the population are fully vaccinated.
However, concerns over the Delta variant, first identified in India, have prompted the Government to delay the easing of final remaining Covid restrictions to 19 July at the earliest.
Daily cases last week rose to 11,007, increasing by over 3000 compared to the previous week and leading scientists are concerned about the transmission and hospitalisation capacity of the Delta variant compared to previous strains.