A pharmacy group in the West Midlands is running two pharmacist-led Covid-19 vaccination sites, including one in a Birmingham mosque.
The Masters Pharmacy Group began vaccinating patients on Thursday January 21 in the Al Abbas Islamic Centre in Birmingham and a community pharmacy site in Oldbury.
Pharmacist Minhal Master of the Masters Group told Pharmacy Network News the sites were chosen “to improve accessibility and uptake among the wider population, and in particular BAME communities”.
“When this opportunity was announced we were keen to ensure that we were able to assist NHS England & Improvement in delivering this mammoth vaccination programme across all our sites. Having applied for multiple sites, we were successful and have proved alongside many other pharmacy led sites that the profession has the skillset and capability – yet is so often overlooked
“Both sites are pharmacist-led and showcase how pharmacists can work to deliver nationally commissioned services in an efficient and adaptive manner,” Mr Master said, adding that the sites are accessible and trusted by local communities.
Imam Qari Asim, chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, said he hoped the use of sites such as mosques and churches would encourage wider uptake of coronavirus jabs: "We are urging places of worship and community hubs to be used as vaccination centres to inspire confidence in communities.
"As an Imam, my message is simple - do not trust 'fake news', verify before you amplify.
"Taking the vaccine is currently the only available solution to defeating coronavirus, to save thousands of precious lives and be with our loved ones again."
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: "It is absolutely brilliant to see faith communities like this stepping up and playing their part in the vaccine programme.
"We have to build trust, ensure that we counter misinformation and ensure that everyone, regardless of their faith, regardless of what community they're from, gets access to the programme."