Covid vaccinations: Doctor at Portsmouth pop-mosque jab hub says no need to worry after shortfall in turnout

A DOCTOR who was carrying out jabs at a city centre mosque transformed into a pop-up vaccination hub has warned people they are more at risk when travelling on aeroplanes or taking the contraceptive pill than from having their second dose.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 11:51 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 11:52 am

Dr Ebadur Chowdhury, a GP at Portsdown Group Practice, urged people to get their jabs after a drop in numbers of those being inoculated at Southsea’s Jami Mosque.

Back in March when the centre held a one-off event for those having their first dose, people queued outside the Victoria Road North mosque for most of the day, with nearly 350 locals being vaccinated on that occasion.

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Locals being vaccinated at the Jami Mosque on the 15th of June 2021. Habibur Rahman being given his second vaccine by Doctor Ebadur Chowdhury.

But on Tuesday, with the mosque once again throwing open its doors for those having their second dose of Oxford AstraZeneca, the turnout of people was only around 200 people. GPs from the Portsdown Group carried out the jabs.

Despite praising those who turned out, Dr Chowdhury said the shortfall could be due to possible concerns from people over having a negative reaction to the second dose, in particular blood clotting.

‘It was a bit quiet compared to last time. Some people are a bit scared of having their second dose,’ he said.

‘But there is a one in a million chance of a person having a negative reaction. So far, there have been 37 cases out of 37 million people who have had the vaccine.

The Jami Mosque, Southsea, in March Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Women who take the contraceptive pill are at higher risk than those having their second dose. Even flying on a long haul flight you are at more risk with deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism.

‘Some people are overly worried. There are lots of fears and myths out there.’

Dr Chowdhury said the reduced numbers compared to those who had their first dose in March could also be down to people going to the GP and opting to have the Pfizer inoculation instead.

But among those who turned out, he said there was a good response. ‘People were happy and grateful to have their jab,’ he said.

‘All backgrounds of people were here including white people. It was nice everyone came together.

‘If we all do it we can overcome any problem.’

Volunteers from the mosque and Portsmouth HIVE marshalled people to one of two vaccination bays set up inside the temple.

Lucky Haque was one of those helping out. She said: ‘It went very well with everything going like clockwork.

‘There was a euphoric atmosphere and everyone was working together. I was so impressed and proud of the mosque.

‘They made us feel very welcome and asked what we could do to help make things better and listened to our advice. They worked hard to make things successful.

‘Everyone was happy to do their bit and protect themselves and the community. People were very grateful for the opportunity.’

The number of people in Portsmouth who have had their first dose stands at 120,294, and 89,824 of those have also had their second jab.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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