After the event: Covid-19 vaccination clinic at Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre on Sat 20 March

On Saturday 20 March, our team from Thornton Road and Valley Park Surgery delivered an outstanding Covid-19 vaccination pop-up clinic at Croydon Mosque vaccinating over 400 people in just 3 hours!!

Croydon Mosque is attended by some of our most vaccine hesitant local population – so this is a great example of tackling health inequalities in the community, with community leaders.

Together with the communications team at South West London CCGs, we captured a number of stories from people who came for their vaccinations on Saturday (thank you to Lizzie Whetnall and team at SWL CCGs for your support):

  • Lucy works as a healthcare assistant for the NHS. She had a baby last April and has been on maternity leave for much of the year but did go back to work during the first wave to support her colleagues. “I was so pleased to see that I’ve got a chance to come and have my vaccination. I was so happy to be given that opportunity and that chance.  Turning up this morning I was so amazed by the people who are queueing and the majority are black people which made me really proud because the message is sinking in that the vaccine is for everyone and there is nothing that is added and nothing that is bad that people have been talking about. It made me feel really good.  Thank you for all that you’ve done for our community.”
  • Meena advised one of our team members who visited the Mosque on Friday that she did not want to have the vaccine, but after speaking with them she came along on Saturday. “I have been hesitant – there’s a lot going around about it – e.g. is it safe? I’ve read about blood clots in the news, and other countries having banned the vaccine – I’ve changed my mind 100 times.  Seeing all these people today and talking to my friends and family – I thought I’m going to go for it.  I work with small children and I want to keep them and myself safe.”
  • Farah said “I am a carer for my son who is autistic.  My husband has already had the vaccine, my husband and son are here today. I’m pleased to get the vaccine today.”
  • Zaynab has already had the vaccine at St Paul’s Church, it was her mum Sophia’s turn today. “It’s important to have the vaccine as my daughter has already had it and so has my husband who are vulnerable. My mum lives with us and she has had her vaccine as she is over 75.  It will help keep us safe.  I’m looking forward to being able to meet each other again without having to worry.”
  • Abdul lives nearby and works during the week so was pleased to see the Saturday pop up clinic. “I’m happy to have the vaccine. l look after my dad, he has had the vaccine at the GP surgery.  Today is good.”
  • Salome is an assistant head teacher of a primary school in Streatham Common. “As a teacher and for all our pupils and staff it is important for us to have the vaccine to be safe and to be able to continue to work. My mum is going to get the vaccine, she is a nurse and she has felt quite nervous about it. So important the fact this is here today, near such an ethnic community, as people have been very nervous. It’s so important to have something like this in a Mosque, in a place of worship, people feel they can trust that a bit more.”
  • Aaliyah heard about the clinic from a friend. “It’s important for everyone to have the vaccine so we can overcome this pandemic at some point – instead of continuing in the lockdown cycle.  I’m in my first year at university studying biomedical sciences and I haven’t met anyone on my course yet.  Initially I was worried; there has been a lot in the news, but now people in my family have had the vaccine.”

A number of attendees of local churches, the synagogue, temples and other faith centres also had their vaccinations with us on Saturday, thanks to the efforts of Croydon Mosque Trustees who shared our invitation via Faiths Together in Croydon. People of all faiths or none, men and women from many backgrounds came together for their Covid-19 vaccinations. Many other wonderful stories captured and encountered throughout the day.

We hope that this will encourage many more people who may be worried about having the vaccine to come forward when invited.