Imam Ashraf from Port Talbot Mosque is leading by example after getting his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Imam attended Fairfield Surgery to receive the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine a few weeks ago. He hopes this will encourage and reassure members of the local Muslim community to follow his lead, and that it will help combat any misinformation circulating about the vaccine.
The Imam was eligible for the vaccination because he undertakes a key worker role as Imam and Chaplain for the local community.
Imam Ashraf said:
“The vaccines currently being used in the UK, Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer, are permissible from an Islamic point of view.
“I had the vaccine a few weeks ago and have had no side effects, I am feeling well. If anyone were to ask me would I recommend it, then I would recommend it widely, to the Muslim community and to everyone. Having the vaccine will help us limit the spread in our communities, reduce pressure on the NHS and save lives. So please, do have it when it is offered to you.”
A recent Public Health Wales report indicated that vaccine uptake may be lower in Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, whilst evidence has shown that members of the very same communities are disproportionately losing their lives as a result of this pandemic.
Dr Amer Hamed, British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) Founding Member and ex-BIMA Welsh Lead, who lives in Swansea, and is currently a Cardiology Consultant for Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport is supporting the campaign. Dr Hamed said:
“I have already taken the vaccine. There are no major side effects, when there are side effects these are minor such as a high temperature and go away after a few days. The only way we can protect ourselves, our loved ones and the community at large from this deadly virus is to take the vaccine.
“Please do not listen to the misleading information that is circulating on social media. Take your information from reliable sources such as health authorities.”
More than 176,000 people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have now received their first dose of a vaccination. More information on the vaccination programme can be found at https://sbuhb.nhs.wales/
For more information go to www.tellmemore.wales
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Picture: Imam Ashraf received the first dose of the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine at Fairfield Surgery. More stories