A series of pop-up vaccination centres have been set up in mosques to support Muslims to get a Covid vaccination during Ramadan, after concerns from Islamic scholars and NHS leaders that the fasting period may discourage some. Ramadan sees millions of Muslims will begin fasting during daylight hours for one month.
But there have been concerns among health chiefs that some may delay getting their vaccines as a result. During Ramadan, many Muslims abstain from allowing anything to enter their body, such as food and drink, between sunrise and sunset.
Senior NHS workers who are Muslims and the British Islamic Medical Association have issued assurances having the vaccination will not break the fast and the NHS has set up pop-up vaccination centres at mosques, workplaces and community centres, with options such as out-of-hours and women-only clinics being considered.
Kamran Hussain, chief executive of Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC) in Small Heath, Birmingham, said they have put in place new measures for the holy month of Ramadan. A joint statement from GLMCC's resident Imams said: "The benefits of lockdown and social distancing are bearing fruit as we are now seeing infections and death rates back at the level they were six months ago.
“However, as a community, we need to be conscious that we do not harm this progress by becoming complacent with the rules. We have a special attachment to the numerous community activities that take place over Ramadan, from communal iftars (breaking of the fast), congregational taraweeh (night prayers) and the outdoor Eid celebrations at the end of Ramadan.
“With the current situation, none of these practices will be the same this year.” The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is usually marked by fasting during daylight hours every day, as well as special prayers and meals.