North West's biggest mosque turns into vaccination hub

The mosque hailed the day a ''great success'' Credit: ITV Granada

The biggest mosque in the North West, Manchester's Central Mosque, has turned itself into a pop-up vaccination centre in a bid to reach ''at risk'' groups.

The Central Mosque, in Upper Park Road, Rusholme, is the largest in the North West and is a focal point for communities living across Manchester. 

But those who run the mosque were keen to point out the object of the exercise was not just to persuade people from the muslim community to have their jabs.

Patients who were over the age of 50, or over the age of 18 and within the ''at-risk'' group were invited to receive a jab during the walk-in sessions. People classed as at risk include those with long-term chronic conditions, life-limiting illnesses, learning disabilities, mental illnesses and other conditions liike obesity.

There were multi-lingual staff on hand to support patients who speak Urdu or Bengali, as well as both male and female clinical staff to administer the vaccine.

The vaccination centre tried to cater for all the local community Credit: ITV Granada

David Regan, Manchester's Director of Public Health, said: "Programmes such as this, where vaccination efforts are rooted in our communities offer the best chance of getting as many of us vaccinated as possible.''

It is understandable that some people remain unsure about getting a vaccine. There can also be barriers which can make getting the vaccine more difficult for our communities. By providing clinics in trusted and convenient locations, and having staff who are multilingual, we are removing barriers that would otherwise stop someone getting their Covid jab.

David Regan, Manchester Director of Public Health

The vaccinations were going on while the Mosque was also busy for Friday Prayers, but organisers say the exercise went smoothly and that at least 250 people were vaccinated.

It is planned for the Mosque to re-open for vaccines on Friday 9 April and also for at least one further session after Ramadan.