New Covid-19 vaccination centre opening at Bilal Centre in Harehills to encourage uptake in black and Asian communities

A new Covid-19 vaccination centre has opened in Harehills amid concerns about the lack of uptake among black and Asian communities.

By Rebecca Marano
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 11:45 am

Local data has shown that there are fewer black and Asian people receiving their vaccinations.

This is despite Covid-19 disproportionately affecting Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) groups.

It is hoped that the pop-up service, in the Bilal Centre in Conway Road, will encourage more people to get their jabs.

A new Covid-19 vaccination centre has opened in the Bilal Centre in Conway Road. Photo: NHS Leeds.

Dr Amal Paul, GP and Clinical Director for Burmantofts, Harehills and Richmond Hill PCN, said: “Our local intelligence has shown that vaccination uptake is lower amongst different ethnically diverse communities and we know COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) groups so it is very important they have the vaccine to get protected.

“The pop-up clinic will hopefully help to encourage more patients in the local community to have their vaccination by offering it in a venue that they feel comfortable attending.

“We know there’s a lot of misinformation on the vaccine on social media platforms, which is why we’re offering local patients the opportunity to come and talk to us and local community leaders if they’re unsure or have concerns about the vaccine.

“It’s important that patients understand how the vaccine will help protect them against the disease and reduce their risk of becoming seriously unwell.”

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Councillor Salma Arif, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at Leeds City Council, said: “Having the pop-up vaccination centre at the Bilal Centre is an innovative approach the Council is taking to reach people within our communities who are eligible to have the vaccine. The centre is a trusted resource in the heart of the area.

“I really do hope that people take up the opportunity of coming to the centre when they receive the text message from their GP practice.

"If you have questions about the vaccine you can talk to healthcare professionals on the day and hear from community leaders who are strongly encouraging people to have the vaccine.

“Getting as many patients as possible vaccinated against COVID-19 is our best hope for returning to normal life. Please have your vaccine when you are invited and help stop the virus.”

The vaccination clinic in the Bilal Centre opened on Wednesday, March 10.

Eligible people will receive a text message from their GP practice.

People will be able to attend in the morning from 10am to 12pm to discuss any concerns and will be able to have their vaccine if they decide to, as well as bookable slots which will be available between 1 to 3pm.

Healthcare professionals will be joined by local community leaders to encourage people to have their vaccine, it will also be an opportunity for local people to discuss any concerns they may have on the vaccines.