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Muslims encouraged to have covid vaccine in Ramadan

Muslims encouraged to have covid vaccine in Ramadan
01 April 2021

Muslims encouraged to have covid vaccine in Ramadan

 

A campaign to raise awareness that having the covid vaccine does not break your fast has been launched today by Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), ahead of Ramadan which begins later this month.

There is a concern that Muslims who are eligible for the covid vaccine may refuse on the grounds that it invalidates their fast.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset.  The religious guidance from Islamic scholars and the British Islamic Medical Association backs having the vaccine in Ramadan which starts around April 12.

Vaccination centres often have to make appointments in advance and local Muslim faith leaders, working in partnership with the CCG and Sheffield City Council, will be spreading the message that getting vaccinated while fasting is allowed in Islam.  

The CCG has provided funding to community organisations, including Muslim groups who are undertaking this work in Ramadan, to enable them to tackle vaccine hesitancy and barriers. Muslims are the second largest faith group in Sheffield. 

Shahida Siddique, Chair of the Faith Covid group for Sheffield and the Co-Chair of the Sheffield BAME Inequalities Communities Group, said: “We are working collectively across the city, to let Muslims know that the religious guidance permits vaccinations if you are fasting. Volunteers and staff from our partner organisations will be undertaking outreach work and we will also be reminding people that if they have covid symptoms they must have a test because, as with the vaccination, it does not invalidate your fast.”

Videos in community languages will be available to share with local Muslims. A Muslim GP in Sheffield, Dr Yasar Khan who will be fasting too has made one for the Pakistani Muslim community. Imam Osama Sachi, from the Heeley Mosque, has recorded messages in Arabic and English to share with his community.

Imam Sachi has worked with his local vaccination centre to host two pop up clinics at the mosque. He said: “As a faith leader it’s my duty to do all I can to keep my community safe. Many of them come to me for guidance about the vaccine and my advice will be that it’s our duty as Muslims to protect each other and having the covid vaccine does this and it’s permissible to be vaccinated during Ramadan. I will be sharing this message in my sermon at the weekly Friday prayers.”

Alun Windle, Chief Nurse and Covid Vaccination Lead at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: "I’d like thank everyone for their efforts in getting the message out there to the Muslim communities in Sheffield. We will have some supply of the vaccines this month and we will be offering first doses and definitely second doses for anyone vaccinated in January and February. You need to have the second dose to give yourself the fullest protection against the virus. We know that the two doses can save lives and avoid serious illness in the most vulnerable people. Public Health England data shows that the vaccines are around 80% effective in keeping the over 80’s out of hospital. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Anyone who has not had their vaccination, and is entitled to do so because they are in one of the nine priority groups, can book their first dose of the vaccination. It can be arranged online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination   by calling 119 or by contacting their GP.

The videos can be found on the NHS Sheffield CCG YouTube channel.

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group

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722 Prince of Wales Road
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