Al Manaar Coronavirus vaccine event debunks myths for communities

Monday 25 January 2021

Public health experts shared some of the key facts around Coronavirus immunisation during an online information session organised by Al Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre Trust.

More than 140 people joined the free event on Sunday afternoon to learn how the Covid-19 vaccines work, why they are safe and how they are being delivered in Kensington and Chelsea.

Guest speakers shared vital information about Coronavirus symptoms, the importance of following public health guidelines and the impact the virus has had in London.

The panel also answered questions posed by the audience, including discussing the side effects of the vaccines, the fact that they do not contain pork and the timescales for when they will be offered to different sections of the community.

The session was chaired by North Kensington GP Dr Yasmin Razak and introduced by Abdurahman Sayed, CEO of Al Manaar. He said: “We know that some people in the community are concerned about having the Covid-19 vaccine and are faced with a huge amount of information much of which is false. People joined us on Sunday because they wanted to find out the right information to help them make an informed decision, and we had the right people at the event to answer their questions.

“We know there has been publicity that refusal rates among the BAME communities across the country are high. This hesitancy has been down to confusion and misinformation. By working with the Council and other experts on our panel, we hope we gave people the facts they need and helped to reassure them. This pandemic is not going away and we have high rates in this part of London. We just want to do our bit and will continue to do so.”

Cllr Cem Kemahli, Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “We are extremely grateful to Al Manaar and our faith communities for leading the way and helping to debunk the myths around the Covid-19 vaccine. They continue to work with us throughout this pandemic to offer help and support to our communities and share important messages. Their commitment has been invaluable.”

The speakers at the event were:

  • Dr. Umar Ebrahimsa (Specialist Registrar Infectious Diseases and General Medicine);
  • Samira Ben Omar (Assistant Director of Equalities);
  • Prof Saheer Gharbia (Covid Genomics Lead, Public Health England);
  • Dr Manpreet Bains (GP & Associate Director Neohealth);
  • Dr. Yasmin Razak (Clinical Director, Neohealth Primary Care Network);
  • Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Lake (Deputy Director of Public Health, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and City of Westminster).

You can watch the full session hereProfiles of the speakers can be found on the Al Manaar website.