Monthly Archives: April 2021

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Castlefield Community Centre hosts pop-up vaccination clinic

The latest of several pop-up vaccination clinics across Buckinghamshire came to the Wycombe area over the weekend, this time setting up in Castlefield Community Centre to make it easier for members of the local community to get their jab.

The pop-up centre on Sunday (11 April) gave 81 jabs to those who attended. The clinic was operated by local GPs with support from organisations including Wycombe Mosque, Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE), Karima, MEC and Jamia Rehmania.

The clinic follows others held in recent weeks, at the Wycombe Islamic Centre – which was aimed at residents in the Micklefield, Bowerdean and Totteridge areas – and before that at Wycombe’s Jubilee Road Mosque. A pop-up clinic has also operated at the Aylesbury Mosque, and more are planned in Bucks for the future.

Pop-up clinics aim to encourage greater uptake of vaccinations with the support of trusted local figures. They also offer a more convenient location to be vaccinated for many people, alongside the nine GP-led vaccination sites across Bucks, one national vaccination site in Aylesbury, and eight pharmacy-led sites in the county.

Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre and GP at Oakfield Surgery in Aylesbury, is one of the GPs running these pop-up clinics. He said: “The success of these clinics highlights how important it is to go into the community to reach people who still need to be vaccinated. Making the location and environment comfortable for people who may have some hesitation about getting the vaccine can make a real difference, and we have had great engagement with these patients.

“To date we have attracted people with very diverse backgrounds at these clinics, including members of the Philippinian, Sri Lankan, African, Turkish, Arab, Indian and Pakistani British communities.

“Having female vaccinators available to give jabs in a culturally comfortable, familiar environment has also helped to give a positive experience to female members of the community who may prefer this. I would like to thank all our colleagues and partners in the community who have given their tremendous support and cooperation to make these clinics such a success and I would encourage all members of the community to come forward and have their jab when called.”

GPs from across the county were actively involved in arranging and running this initiative together with Dean Elliot, Group Commander for Resourcing and Projects from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service who are supporting the vaccine roll-out.

Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This health initiative continues to be a fantastic example of collaboration between our local communities and the GPs and healthcare professionals who serve them.

“We would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make these clinics happen and we look forward to continuing to work with local communities across Buckinghamshire as the vaccination rollout progresses.”

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Ramadan during COVID-19 – vaccinations and changes to lockdown restrictions

Many Muslims across Buckinghamshire will be celebrating Ramadan from 12 April, just as the country takes its next step out of lockdown.

But while some of the rules are easing, many restrictions will still be in place, affecting the way Ramadan is celebrated for the second year since the pandemic began. During this month of prayers, fasting and good deeds, people are asked to please follow the rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe.

If you’re attending prayers during Ramadan, please follow the guidelines in place at your local Mosque. One in three people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms. If you want to be fully confident you aren’t infectious you can take a rapid test by dropping into one of Buckinghamshire Council’s sites in Amersham, Aylesbury, Buckingham or High Wycombe. Alternatively, you can pick up testing kits to use at home. Click here for further details.

Avoiding large gatherings will also help you and all other worshippers to pray safely. To find out what the guidelines are, click here  or contact your local place of worship.

The rules in place during the next phase of restrictions include:

  • Continue to follow the rule of six (this includes children under five)
  • Avoid meeting in larger groups or mixing more than two households
  • Please meet people you don’t already live with outdoors – and stick to the two-metre rule.
  • If you’re meeting in a private garden, please don’t go indoors, even if the weather becomes bad – this is not allowed yet.
  • Don’t share items, wash your hands often, wear a mask covering nose and mouth and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • You must follow the guidance even if you have been vaccinated – no vaccine is 100% effective and it takes two doses and time to build good immunity.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has said that, as advised by Muslim scholars, taking the COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan will not affect your fasting. If you have an appointment for a vaccination jab over the coming weeks – whether for a first or second dose – please make sure you attend it.

While taking precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, its important if you’re fasting to also manage any existing health conditions such as diabetes or a heart condition. If you’re worried about taking medication while fasting, please speak to your GP for advice.

Guidance on fasting during Ramadan for people with diabetes and heart conditions are available from Diabetes UK (www.diabetes.org.uk) and British Heart Foundation (www.bhf.org.uk).

It is important to drink plenty of fluids before fasting to reduce the risk of dehydration. Additional information on healthy eating during Ramadan is available from the British Nutrition Foundation (www.nutrition.org.uk).

Dr Rashmi Sawhney, Clinical Director for Health Inequalities at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Ramadan is an incredibly important time for Muslim communities and it is a great shame this celebration has been affected again by COVID-19. But we would please urge everyone to make sure they follow the rules to keep themselves, their loved ones and their communities safe. While we are moving in the right direction, it is vital we follow these rules to stop cases from rising sharply again.

“I would also like to remind anyone observing Ramadan that Muslim scholars have said that having a vaccination does not invalidate your fasting. So if you have a vaccination appointment, or are invited to arrange one, please make sure you attend it. And please take every effort to stay safe and well throughout Ramadan. There is some excellent advice available for anyone with health concerns.

“Finally, I would like to wish everyone Ramadan Mubarak – I hope that this holy month brings you peace and good health.”

For more information on vaccinations in Buckinghamshire, click here.