Covid vaccinations will be offered in a Blackburn mosque for the first time.

A pop-up vaccination clinic will take place on Saturday 10 April between 10am-1pm at the Masjid E Saliheen on Didsbury Street, Blackburn.

Members of the mosque are working in partnership with NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Blackburn with Darwen Council and Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) to offer coronavirus vaccinations to eligible local people. These include people over the age of 50, or in an “at-risk” clinically vulnerable group over 16, health and social care workers and carers who have not already had their first jab.

The clinic is being run by the Local Primary Care Federation and Primary Care Network and has been set up to encourage all those people who have not yet come forward. It is hoped by providing a service in the community, in a convenient and familiar location, will encourage them to come forward. 

There was also concerns that people would not come forward for their vaccination due to concerns about Ramadan.

Mosque Chairman Saleem Kapadi said: “Our volunteers have worked extremely hard to ensure this vaccination clinic is available to everyone in our community.

"We are urging all those that fall in the categories eligible to come and get vaccinated this Saturday. We are open for all communities”.

Dr Mohammed Umer, Chair Local Primary Care Federation and Clinical Director Blackburn with Darwen Primary Care Network said: “We know that pop-up clinics in other areas have worked in encouraging people to come forward and take up the offer of a vaccination. It is important that we do what we can to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.  

"It is vital that any barriers to people accessing the vaccine are removed and by engaging and empowering local communities to support and promote uptake, we can hopefully reinforce the message about how important it is to get a vaccination.”

Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health, said: “I’m really pleased to see this innovative piece of partnership work come to fruition. This is 21st century health care delivered direct to the community. 

"To have the clinic in such a trusted and convenient to access location – with staff who are multilingual – will help remove some of the barriers to people coming forward for the vaccination. We will be using this model to explore options for more pop-up clinics in other sites across the borough in the coming months.”

Chairman of LCM Maulana Rafiq Sufi said: "LCM is proud to have worked in partnership with NHS Blackburn with Darwen, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackburn with Darwen Council in the set-up of the Covid Vaccination pop-up clinic.

"Accessibility to the mosque is easy and ample parking spaces are available for those who attend the clinic. Mosque volunteers will also be there to assist the Covid marshals.

"I hope this is a successful initiative for all sections of the community to take advantage from. In the near future, LCM hopes to setup a few more venues in Lancashire in partnership with local authorities, CCG’s and the NHS."

Jane Scattergood, Lancashire and South Cumbria Covid-19 Vaccination Director said: “This is a great example of partnership work between local faith leaders, health professionals and other communities in Blackburn. I’d like to thank everyone involved who has worked so hard to make this happen. 

“Coronavirus affects us all, so it remains vital that we all continue to work together to make sure that everyone has access to vaccinations as easily and quickly as possible. I would urge anyone invited to have the vaccine to please take up the offer, to protect themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.”

Volunteers from the mosque will be on hand at the clinic as marshals, to welcome and support people attending for their vaccination and to ensure safe social distancing is maintained. 

For further information about the vaccination programme and to book please click here