Birmingham mosque converted into vaccine centre as city starts 24-hour jabs

A Birmingham mosque has been converted into a Covid vaccination centre as the city begins offering jabs 24 hours a day.

Two people at a time are being vaccinated in the multi-purpose hall at the Al-Abbas Islamic Centre in Balsall Heath.

Imam Nuru Mohammed said they stepped in with the intention of helping ‘people who are not well-informed about the vaccination’, amid concern that false rumours were targeting religious communities.

He said: ‘It will send a very strong positive message to the wider Muslim community, not only here in Birmingham but in the entire country, because I think this is the first mosque within the country opening its doors for vaccination to take place.

‘I think that is a positive message – that you know what guys, we are all together in this.’

It comes as two NHS trusts – University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) and Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Forest – began a round-the-clock vaccination pilot.

Existing high-priority groups, including over-80s and front-line health workers will be offered the vaccines.

A UHB spokeswoman said: ‘We are looking at further options to provide all health and social care staff across Birmingham and Solihull the opportunity to be vaccinated at a time that suits them.

‘From tonight we will be opening up a number of vaccination appointment slots specifically for our night staff, between 6pm and 8am.

‘These will be rolled out site by site at Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals into the weekend.’

There are now 39% more Covid in-patients at UHB – England’s biggest hospital trust – than there were during the first peak.

UHB said it was looking after 985 patients by Thursday morning, which is 277 more than its peak on April 10, 2020.

The data, which is published by the trust, showed that number was a 7.4% rise on the figure of 917 patients, six days ago.

The organisation, which runs the largest intensive treatment unit (ITU) in the country at Queen Elizabeth, also has 13% more Covid patients in critical care, than it did during the first peak.

There are now 152 ITU patients with coronavirus across the trust’s three main hospitals.

That compares with 134 patients on April 17, last year.

Last week, the trust redeployed staff including 200 doctors from other departments to deal with the increasing numbers of Covid patients.

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