“The vaccine has offered us all hope” - a Southampton Imam offers support at local large-scale COVID-19 vaccination centre
Imam Muhammad Ali Tanveer from Southampton Medina Mosque Trust Ltd, visited the Solent NHS Trust run large-scale vaccination centre at Oakley Road in Southampton as a volunteer, helping to guide the public through the centre and to their appointments.
Imam Muhammad Ali was also joined by two other members of the Southampton Medina Mosque and volunteer, Ruth Spradberry from Love Southampton, an initiative of a broad range of churches in the city.
Speaking about his experience, Imam Muhammad Ali said: “It was the perfect opportunity for me to show my support for the COVID-19 vaccination programme. I wanted to assure the people in my community that getting the vaccine is a positive thing and that everyone should feel comfortable coming down to one of the centres to get vaccinated. Two members of the mosque who regularly volunteer with us and are the mothers of a few of my students, are also here today to show their support.”
He added: “Many misconceptions are circulating regarding the vaccine and I want to reassure people that the vaccine is safe and effective. People at the centres are very friendly and will speak to you about any concerns you have. The vaccine has offered us all hope and we should feel good about taking steps towards protecting ourselves. As Muslims, we believe God is the ultimate healer, but we are encouraged to do our best to preserve the gift of life, saving lives is an act of worship.”
David Noyes, Chief Operating Officer at Solent NHS Trust said; “It has been a real pleasure to welcome Imam Muhammad Ali and members of the Southampton Medina Mosque to Oakley Road. He is a prominent figure amongst our Muslim communities, and we feel very grateful that he has come along to volunteer at our Southampton vaccination centre. It's vital that we reach out to the people in our diverse communities and offer everyone who is eligible a vaccination - Imam Muhammad Ali has been fantastic in supporting us and helping us spread this message.”
COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be offered at the Southampton vaccination centre, along with three other large-scale Solent NHS Trust run sites in Basingstoke, Portsmouth and on the Isle of Wight, to those eligible in line with recommendations with the JCVI.
Eligible people can book an appointment slot online via the national booking system or call 119. Appointments are released regularly, and there are really good levels of availability for appointments, usually within a day or so, at each of the centres. More slots are released every couple of days, so keep checking back.
Photo: (L-R) Imam Muhammad Ali Tanveer with volunteers, Sarah, and Parveen from Southampton Medina Mosque Trust Ltd