The British Islamic Medical Association and local clinical leaders are urging all Muslims who are eligible for a flu and autumn COVID-19 vaccine to come forward and get protected ahead of winter.

Flu and autumn COVID-19 vaccines are now available and those who are eligible are being encouraged to take up this free offer to help prevent communities from becoming vulnerable to serious illness. 

Everyone aged 65 and over is eligible for a free flu and COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant women and those with certain long term health conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease are also eligible. Both vaccines are the best defence we have in reducing the chances of hospitalisation and death.

Children are also eligible for a free flu vaccine. Last winter, 6,000 children aged five and under in England ended up in hospital because of flu. The flu vaccine is safe and effective and reduces your child’s chance of needing hospital care for flu by around two thirds.

Dr Salma Reehana, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “As Muslims, our families and our communities matter to us. We have a duty to preserve life and getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent illness from COVID-19 and flu.

“Not only can the vaccines be lifesaving, but they also help to reduce hospital admissions and the chance of community outbreaks, helping to protect those who more vulnerable to the viruses.

“So, if you’re eligible for a flu or an autumn COVID-19 vaccine, please come forward as soon as you can.”

Dr Salman Waqar, GP and President of the British Islamic Medical Association, said: “Our faith encourages us to consider the implications of our actions on the people around us. That is why we encourage eligible Muslim children, vulnerable adults, and those over the age of 65 not to delay their decision to get vaccinated for free against COVID-19 and seasonal flu.

“Vaccination can be lifesaving, reduces hospital admissions and the chance of community outbreaks, which will be so important as we brace for the challenges the winter months can bring.

“Parents who may not routinely be offered the injectable flu vaccine and have concerns with the nasal vaccine for children should request an injectable vaccine instead. We know many people in our community have religious concerns about the porcine content of the nasal flu spray, but they should know that the flu injection for both children and adults is free of this.”

Eligible people can book their flu vaccine by visiting the NHS website here.

Eligible people can book their autumn COVID-19 vaccine via the National Booking System here.

A number of winter vaccine pop-up clinics have also been set up across the Black Country, offering flu and autumn COVID-19 vaccines for those eligible on a walk-in basis. Click here for more information.

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