A recent project Thornton Lodge Action Group has secured is focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy within the BAME community.
Working with the local authority, public health teams and voluntary community organisations the charity has trained up and appointed 6 Community Champions of different ethnicities and gender to reflect the community it intends to serve.
Over the next six months, the Community Champions will be engaging with local residents to answer questions they may have regarding any misconceptions that have arisen since the rollout of the vaccine. Some of the misconceptions we have addressed so far are that the vaccine poses risk to fertility, that it contains a tracking microchip and that contents of the vaccine are linked to non-halal ingredients.
Whilst the Muslim population mark the holy month of Ramadan we want to spread the message that taking the vaccine does not affect the daily practice of fasting.
Shaykh Umar Hayat Qadri, Head Imam of Markazi Jamia Masjid Ghausia and chairman of Suffah Foundation said
“I have spoken to many doctors and health professions to seek clarity about the Vaccine and they have all assured me that the vaccine is safe. Doctors and other NHS key workers along with many senior Ulema (scholars) and even myself have had the vaccination. I would encourage every member of our community to get the vaccine when invited.”
Lead Community Champion, Missbah Hussain, said,
“The vaccine is important in saving lives and regaining our freedoms. I please ask that everyone really considers taking up the free vaccine when they are offered it as we want as many people as possible to be protected from COVID-19.”
Look out for the Community Champions who will be working at school gates, places of worship, outside community centres and busy community areas. If you would like to be put in touch with a Community Champion or you think you can help increase the vaccine take up, please call 07871938174. We can put you in touch with English, Urdu, Punjabi and Arabic speaking Champions