• Thursday, December 08, 2022

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Have spring booster jab this Ramadan, urge GPs

An NHS walk in vaccination sign at Gunwharf Quays on January 29, 2022 in Portsmouth, England. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

LEADING Muslim doctors have urged those eligible to have a spring booster jab this Ramadan as it does not break the daylight hours fast, NHS said in a statement. 

Resident TV doctor Dr Nighat Arif, a GP in Buckinghamshire, and Dr Farzana Hussain, a senior GP in East London and 2019 GP of the year are among the doctors urging people to roll up their sleeves and have their jab.

People aged 75 and over and those who are immunosuppressed are now able to book their spring booster.

According to a recent study, the NHS booster programme has helped prevent around 197,000 hospitalisations since mid-December.

Dozens of Mosques around the UK will be hosting pop-up clinics either inside the mosque or nearby, including East London Mosque, Darus Salam Mosque in Leicester and Assunah Mosque in north London, making it easier than ever to get a life-saving covid jab, the NHS informed.

Besides, vaccination sites are extending their opening hours so that Muslims can receive the jab after they have eaten.

Dr Arif, who regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and ITV This Morning, said: “Having your jab in Ramadan is permissible and it does not break your fast because it is not nutrition.

“So when offered please get your spring booster as this will help increase your protection from the rising covid transmission rates and cut your risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 and being admitted to hospital – I would urge anyone invited for a spring jab to come forward as soon as possible.”

Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al-Fitr prayer, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, at Bradford Central Mosque in Bradford, northern England on May 13, 2021. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr Hussain, a practising Muslim who works at The Project Surgery in East London, said: “There is absolutely no reason why you should not come forward for your life-saving covid-19 jab if you are eligible and have been invited a spring booster because it does not break your fast.

“The Koran says saving your life is the most important thing: to save one life is to save the whole of humanity. It’s a responsibility of a practising Muslim to get their vaccine when invited in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.

The statement added that local NHS teams will also be setting up some mobile vaccine clinics near mosques this year.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA), an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain insists it is okay to have during Ramadan as it is not nutritional. Nor does it contain any animal or foetal products, it added.

Dr Amer Hamed, member of the BIMA Council and Covid Response Group, said: “During the month of Ramadan BIMA encourage Muslims to keep wearing masks, ventilating your houses and Mosques, washing your hands regularly & getting appropriate booster vaccine dose so that you can save more lives than before.”

The NHS Muslim network has developed a guide with specific advice to support managers and colleagues across the NHS to be aware of key advice relating to Muslim colleagues who may be fasting during Ramadan, said NHS England’s primary care bulletin.

Ramadan lasts for 29 – 30 days and ends with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, which is likely to be on 1 May.

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