Super Saturday vaccination event at Willesden mosque a 'huge success'
- Credit: Dr Riaz
More than 1,000 queued up at a Willesden mosque's Super Saturday event which was so popular a police escort was needed to get more vaccines.
A "significant crowd" had gathered by 8.30am at the Central Mosque of Brent on Saturday (July 3) where first and second doses of the vaccine was offered as 'walk-in service' with no appointment necessary.
By 10am when the doors opened the queue had stretched into Station Parade, through the Marley Walk estate and into Riffel Road.
More than 1,100 vaccines of first and second dose Pfizer vaccines were administered by a team of volunteers including administrators, stewards, vaccinators and medics led by project manager Sapna Chadha.
Dr Raja Amjid Riaz, Covid-19 programme lead treasurer and trustee of the mosque, said there was such demand that the "vaccine had run out and a police escort for delivery of more vaccine was required to avoid an unnecessary delay".
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He said the day was a "great success" adding: "Our local community has been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the residents in Brent have been affected over represented both in the number of cases and the number of deaths related to Covid-19."
Mayor of Brent Cllr Lia Colacicco visited the centre and spoke to staff and volunteers before having lunch with councillors and community leaders.
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The clinic has been run in collaboration with Mohammad Haidar lead GP and clinical director of K&W Healthcare four times a week since February.
Figures within the North West London Health and Care Partnership of people who have had both vaccines is still amongst the lowest nationally at 50.6 per cent.
Dr Haida said that the programme had been a "huge success with our results being above our expectation".
"The uptake rates and accessibility of the vaccine has been low in the South of Brent and centre’s like the one at the Central Mosque of Brent will help improve the situation.”
This site also provides a female only segregated area with female administration and vaccinators appeals to many from the Muslim and other BAME communities due to their religious and cultural beliefs.
Dr Riaz said: “I am so proud of the work here in alleviating any misinformation on the safety of vaccines and provide a safe, accessible and familiar place for the community”.