The Jubilee Road Mosque in High Wycombe was the venue for the latest ‘pop-up’ COVID-19 vaccination clinic over the weekend, as members of the community stopped by to get their jab.
The pop-up centre was operated by GPs on Sunday,14 March, with support from organisations including Wycombe Mosque, Wycombe Islamic Society (WISE), Karima, MEC and Jamia Rehmania.
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.
Nationally, data has shown that vaccination uptake is lower amongst people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. With evidence showing that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people from BAME communities, it is vital for them to get their vaccinations when invited to do so.
Dr Sajid Zaib, Clinical Lead for the Stoke Mandeville Stadium Vaccination Centre and GP at Oakfield Surgery in Aylesbury, was one of the GPs running the Jubilee Road Mosque clinic. He said: “The vaccination clinic at Jubilee Mosque was a tremendous success, following our earlier pop-up clinic in Aylesbury. We are very grateful for all the support we have had from the mosque and community leaders in High Wycombe who have helped us to get the vaccine out to people who need it.
“It is really important that, as healthcare professionals, we continue to do everything possible to remove barriers to people accessing the vaccine. Going out to community settings like mosques means we can engage with people in a very positive way. It helps get the message out about how important it is that everyone takes up the offer of a vaccination, and means we reach people who may not otherwise have had one.”
Actively involved in arranging and running this initiative were GPs from across the county, including Dr Akhtar from Tower House Surgery in Wycombe, Dr Younas from The Simpson Centre in Beaconsfield, Dr Abbas from Bourne End and Wooburn Green Medical Centre, Dr Annan Ali, Dr Shaid of Poplar Grove Practice in Aylesbury, Dr Hyder of Water Meadow Surgery in Chesham and Dr Munir of Haddenham Medical Centre.
Cllr Arif Hussain, Chairman of the High Wycombe Community Board, also supported the pop-up clinic and had encouraged people to attend it. He said: “This health initiative was a great example of collaboration between mosques and other communities in Wycombe, and we would like to thank all the healthcare professionals and community figures who so worked hard to make this happen. The COVID pandemic affects all of us and it is vital that we continue to work together to make sure the vaccine reaches those who need it. I would urge anyone invited to have a vaccine to please take up the offer, to protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.”
More pop-up vaccination sites in Buckinghamshire are being planned.
Dr Raj Bajwa, Chair of NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We would like to thank everyone involved for making the Jubilee Road Mosque pop-up clinic such a great success. We look forward to continuing to work with local communities across Buckinghamshire as the vaccination rollout progresses.”