MP backs Peterborough Islamic Centre’s bid to become Covid vaccine hub

Peterborough MP Paul Bristow has written to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) calling for it to support a bid by the city’s Husaini Islamic Centre to become a Covid vaccination hub.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 7:46 am
The Husaini Islamic Centre in Burton Street, Peterborough.

The MP has asked the CCG to support a bid by the centre’s chairman Rizan Rahemtulla and the chair of Peterborough’s Joint Mosques Council Abdul Choudhuri, to set up a vaccination programme at the Burton Street centre.

The city MP said: “To date, the vaccine rollout in the UK has been an incredible success. Our NHS staff, armed forces personnel, volunteers, and everyone involved in the programme have every reason to feel proud of their work. The public in Peterborough and across the country thank them for their efforts.

“Despite this, in Peterborough we need to double down in our efforts to make the programme as accessible as possible for every community in our City. While we have mass vaccination centres, a pharmacy led service in the south of our city, and GP centres all doing wonderful work, I wonder if more could be done.

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“I understand that Rizwan Rahemtulla, President of the Husaini Islamic Centre, and Abdul Choudhuri, Chair of the Peterborough Joint Mosques Council, suggested that the Centre might be used as a temporary vaccination centre.

“I think this is a brilliant idea and could play a crucial part in our City’s fight against the virus.

“The fact a mosque in Peterborough was hosting a vaccine centre would be reassuring to many in our city’s (close to) 20,000 strong Muslim community.

“There have been a number of studies and surveys suggesting greater resistance to vaccine uptake in BAME communities than in the wider British population.

“There have been a number of unhelpful conspiracy theories circulated, aimed at these communities. These are dangerous, wicked and wrong. Anything we can do to offer reassurance and combat these theories should be considered. Hosting a vaccine centre at Husaini Islamic Centre could be part of this.”