Priti Patel visits Neasden Temple as it opens as a Covid vaccination centre
- Credit: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
The Home Secretary dropped into Brent to visit Neasden Temple's newly-opened Covid-19 vaccination centre.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir opened the centre on its premises across the street at The Swaminarayan School in Brentfield Road on February 2.
Priti Patel MP attended the following day and told the community the vaccine will "save your life" and "save the lives of other people too".
The vaccination programme is led by K&W Healthcare, a GP-led consortium supporting services in Brent.
It aims to deliver 1,200 jabs a day to priority groups.
Ms Patel said she was "delighted" to see the "heroic efforts" around the vaccination programme.
"I’ve met everybody from healthcare professionals to representatives of the NHS and the army as well as members of the public who have come to the centre to be vaccinated today," she said.
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"I just wanted to thank you all, and in particular the volunteers, who have made this national effort possible.
"It is a heroic effort that is saving lives. It will save your life when you have the vaccine and it will save the lives of other people too.”
The mandir has offered the premises free of charge and has provided volunteers to prepare the facility.
The initiative adds to the temple’s holistic Connect and Care outreach programme to support the vulnerable across local communities and the provision of Covid-19 antigen testing in its car park since June 2020.
A mobile clinical laboratory to process the Covid test samples has been operating there since December.
The temple also provides daily summaries, in English and Gujarati, of important government guidelines including "debunking myths and dispelling misinformation to encourage uptake of the vaccination across BAME communities".
Dr Mayank Shah, a practising GP and trustee at the mandir, said: “His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the temple, has inspired and energised us to support the nation’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are delighted to have an opportunity to bolster the vaccination campaign and play our part in protecting the vulnerable as well as slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
"We look forward to working with K&W Healthcare in vaccinating thousands in the local community.”