Covid 19: Stockton mosque pop-up vaccine centres planned

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Splash Community Testing Centre, Stockton
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Stockton Council plans pop-up vaccine centres to target reluctant communities

Pop-up Covid vaccination clinics are planned for mosques to boost uptake.

Jabs could start at three mosques next week if Hartlepool and Stockton Health GP Federation staff visits confirm they are "clinically appropriate".

Stockton Council's health and wellbeing board said it was having a "dialogue" with groups reluctant to have the jab.

This was helped by the town's first Asian mayor "publicly having his vaccine and encouraging others to have it", chairman Jim Beall said.

"I know there are other people in those communities encouraging uptake," he said.

Image source, Stockton Council
Image caption,
Mayor Mohammed Javed spent time in intensive care with Covid-19

Mr Javed was seriously ill with Covid last year and has been a prominent campaigner for vaccine take-up.

He had appealed to imams and Islamic scholars to encourage vaccinations during the upcoming month of Ramadan, he said. 

"Many people are thinking they can't have a vaccine during the fast - but it will not break your fast if it's going through your arm," he said.

Homeless people, those in sheltered accommodation and asylum seekers and refugees are also to be targeted as part of the council's pop-up vaccine centre effort, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

The board was told Stockton had the highest Covid rate in the North East on Wednesday, with 98.3 cases per 100,000 people.

Council figures showed 48.9% of people had received their first jab, which was near the regional average of 49.3% and above the national average of 47.1%. 

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