Community leaders encourage people to get Covid jab as ‘pop-up’ vaccination centre opens
One-day vaccination centre in Queen's Crescent on anniversary of lockdown order
23 March, 2021 — By Harry Taylor
Deputy mayor Sabrina Francis receives a vaccine dose
DOZENS of people were vaccinated at a pop-up centre in Queen’s Crescent today (Tuesday) – a year on from the formal “stay at home” coronavirus lockdown order being given by Boris Johnson.
Several faith leaders, Camden’s deputy mayor and members of Gospel Oak’s neighbourhood policing team were among those getting their jab in the one-day clinic, as chief executive Foyzeur Miah wanted to encourage people in Gospel Oak and Kentish Town to get the jab, as well as to tackle vaccine hesitancy among BAME communities.
The hub was erected in the Dome sports centre in Weedington Road, and was staffed by GPs from nearby practices in Queen’s Crescent, the James Wigg practice, Hampstead Group Practice and volunteers.
Mr Miah, who got the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, said: “I’m ecstatic to be able to provide a service and provision for the BAME community in particular. It’s not just the anniversary of the lockdown, it’s my anniversary of having Covid myself.
“I had it on March 23 last year, so to have the vaccine a year on is something even more special. It’s something we never would have thought of this time last year.
“To be able to provide a service here, in the heart of Gospel Oak, the area that has been worst affect in Camden, is great.”
Mr Miah got his jab from Queen’s Crescent practice GP Dr Sanam Khoylou. She said: “It’s so nice to be doing something positive and contributing to the community. It’s good to see our patients and other people coming here and getting their vaccines.”
Community leaders at The Dome
Others who got the jab included Camden’s deputy mayor, Sabrina Francis also got the jab.
She said she was keen to take part to help show others the vaccine was safe.
“What’s been worrying is that a lot of people dying in the pandemic are people who look like me. It’s important that people do get it,” added Cllr Francis.
“I think it has got better, it’s that classic thing of people seeing other people doing it. There was some research that some groups people trust, and its their friends and family and people they know.
“I accept I’m by no means a celebrity but if I can show others it’s okay to get the vaccine, then hopefully it’ll encourage others.”
More than 28 million people have now received the vaccine. Secretary of Baitul Amal Masjiid mosque in Weedington Road, Kamal Hussin also received his.
He said: “We spoke with the people and we’re still speaking to them, to say the vaccine is important for them and their personal lives, and the country, Great Britain.
“[This year] has been really sad. Many of our community, older and community people have passed away because of the Covid. This pandemic has affected many of the BAME family, we really sorry for them, it’s sad.”
Foyzeur Miah has his first vaccination jab
They were joined by vicar at St Martin’s Church, Mother Carol Barrett Ford and Josie Price from the Union of Jewish Students.
Mother Barrett Ford said: “Everyone here reflects the community, it’s not unusual for faith leaders to come and work together like this.
“We all have a shared interest in people flourishing, in terms of their physical health and their mental health, which has been so badly affected in every way for so many people.”
Mr Miah said he hoped the day would lead to other pop-up centres in areas of need in Camden, including another possible event at the Dome.
“Most of the people we’ve spoken to, we’ve had to convince them, remember we are talking about a community in a sense that’s a bit frightened, nervous and has been convinced in a sense by what’s been on social media, and a lot of people required a lot of convincing to come forward, we’re hoping that’ll have a knock on effect on families and the community.”