A British Muslim general practitioner is taking the war on COVID-19 to a new level, saying she plans to call 5,000 patients to convince them to take the coronavirus vaccine.
Dr. Farzana Hussain from Newham, London, said she aims to “drive out hesitancy about the vaccine, and boost uptake particularly among people from black, Asian and ethnic minority groups” who make up 73% of Newham’s population, Time 107.5 FM reported.
“I’m phoning everyone at my practice who is eligible but yet to get the vaccine to talk to them about why.
“In the vast majority of cases there is a hesitancy rather than outright rejection of the vaccine.”
Friday sermons, medical advices, and vaccine centers were all part of efforts British Muslims are leading to encourage their community to get COVID-19 vaccine and save lives.
The Muslim efforts maximized after reports said that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities were less likely to take the vaccine.
Being a British Bangladeshi Muslim herself, Dr. Hussain said the vaccine issue was so personal to her.
“People from BAME communities are dying because of misinformation; British Bangladeshi’s are five times more likely to die due to covid,” she said.
Hussain works in the Project Surgery, one of 1,500 vaccination centers around the country. She has already succeeded in tackling unsubstantiated worries during her first 50 calls.
“One older lady I spoke to was worried about long-term side effects, but after talking it through with her, and with the support of her son, and desire to see her six-year-old grandchild grow up, she changed her mind.”
In her initiative, she know she will face lots of misinformation around the vaccine.
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“A range of concerns came up, including misinformation around infertility and the use of animal products, which are both completely untrue,” she said.
“Getting an injection does not break the [Ramadan] fast – it’s not nutrition. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have it.
“The Qur’an 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 practicing Muslim to take their vaccine.”
Muslims believe that health is a blessing from Allah that they should preserve and be grateful for.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed Muslims to seek medical treatments: “Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it.” (Abu Dawud)