New festive pop-up vaccination services spring up across London

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Desk Report:  Hundreds of Londoners are receiving vital protection against Covid-19 and flu this winter at new pop-up vaccination services being stood up across the capital.

Scores of pop-up vaccination sites have been mobilised in the capital in recent weeks, as the NHS in London steps up efforts to get more eligible Londoners vaccinated against Covid-19 and flu amid a challenging period for the health service.

Pop-up vaccination services are being provided at various locations including places of worship, community and shopping centres as well as by roving buses, providing more options and even greater convenience for people to get jabbed.

While some areas have already staged one-day vaccination events, many others are taking place over the coming days and weeks, with local teams continuing to raise awareness of these opportunities.

Vaccination is free and no appointments are needed to attend pop-up services.

The East London Mosque in north-east London, the Lewisham Islamic Centre in south-east London and Harlesden Methodist Church in north-west London are among places which have set up vaccination services to support their local communities.

In addition to these pop-up services, Londoners can get Covid-19 and flu jabs at more than 400 sites including GP surgeries, pharmacies and other vaccination centres.

People can also self-declare if they’re eligible for a Covid-19 jab and arrange a vaccination appointment via the National Booking Service.

Dr Chris Streather, Medical Director for the NHS in London, said: “While it’s encouraging that more than 1.5 million eligible Londoners have now received their autumn Covid-19 booster jab, it’s important all who are eligible come forward to get their top-up, ensuring they have maximum protection throughout winter and ahead of mixing with friends and loved ones this festive period.

“And with recent data showing an increase in the number of people being admitted to hospital because of flu, it’s equally important eligible people get vaccinated against the flu virus.”

The East London Mosque, working in collaboration with the NHS and Tower Hamlets Council, hosted a health fair on Friday, offering Covid-19 and flu vaccinations, alongside other health interventions including blood pressure checks.

Dozens of eligible residents from local communities turned up to get their first, second or booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as well as the flu jab, in addition to general health advice.

These included people aged 50 and over, pregnant women and those with certain health conditions.

Newham-based GP, Dr Farzana Hussain, was among those who received their flu jab at the health fair, which she described as a ‘positive initiative’, further helping to ensure all communities are served.

Farzana said she had been so busy, she hadn’t had her flu jab up to that time, adding the process was easy, with no appointment required.

Alongside getting her own flu jab, she was on hand to help the vaccination team.

Farzana said: “I really enjoyed helping out at the women’s only area where women could have vaccines and get health advice in a safe space.

“As a Muslim and a doctor, it was great to see the fusion of faith and health as keeping healthy is a duty of every Muslim. We had a great turnout as it was Friday prayers.”

Shaykh Mohammed Mahmoud, Senior Imam of the East London Mosque, said: “It’s important to encourage people in our community to get vaccinated, and it helps if it can be made easy and convenient, so we were pleased to host the pop-up vaccination service during our busy Friday prayer, in partnership with the NHS and Tower Hamlets Council.”

Councillor Gulam Kibria Choudhury, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care for Tower Hamlets Council, said: “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with partners who support health interventions to protect our communities, so I’m delighted to see the East London Mosque stepping up in this way.

“I would encourage every eligible individual to ensure they get their Covid-19 and flu vaccines this winter as this will provide the best protection against these illnesses.

“More than two thirds of the population of Tower Hamlets belong to an ethnic minority group – and as vaccine uptake tends to be lower in ethnic minority communities compared to the rest of the population, it is right that targeted interventions are encouraged and facilitated.”


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