Faith leaders join call in booster drive amid Omicron surge

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, and the General Secretary of the Hindu Council are supporting the push to increase booster uptake.

William Janes
Friday 17 December 2021 00:01
A total of 750 troops have been drafted in to join tens of thousands of volunteers to help with the deployment of the booster (PA)
A total of 750 troops have been drafted in to join tens of thousands of volunteers to help with the deployment of the booster (PA)

Faith leaders are supporting the Government in its bid to increase the uptake of booster jabs as Omicron cases surge.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Imam Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, the Secretary General of the Hindu Council, and members of the Prime Minister’s Places of Worship Taskforce are urging people to get the jab.

Faith minister Kemi Badenoch on Thursday met with religious leaders to thank them for their work and ask for their support in increasing booster uptake.

Faith minister Kemi Badenoch said ‘everyone from every community’ must come forward (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

The Government said while the UK has one of the highest uptake rates in the world – with more than 85% of adults double jabbed so far – data shows people from black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds are less likely to take up the vaccine.

Ms Badenoch said: “More than 25 million people have already received their booster jab, helping to keep themselves, their friends and family safe this winter but we need everyone from every community to come forward to get ahead of this virus.

“This is why I have joined up with leaders from across all the major faiths to ask people of every denomination to come forward and support this huge national effort.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the public should do “everything we can” to support NHS staff.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is one of several faith leaders to have joined calls to drive booster uptake (Aaron Chown/PA)

He said: “Jesus Christ teaches us about loving our neighbour as ourselves – and this pandemic has reminded us how vital that teaching is. None of us are safe until all of us are safe: we are all each other’s neighbours. I want to encourage everyone, whatever your faith and background, to get boosted as soon as you can. It’s our best hope of keeping everyone safe this Christmas and beyond.”

Sheikh Nuru Mohammed, Imam at the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Community (KSIMC) in Birmingham, said everyone needed to “come together” to fight the spread of coronavirus.

He added: “The best way to do so is to go for our jabs, otherwise we will not go back to some sort of normality.”

Rajnish Kashyap, Secretary General of the Hindu Council UK, said: “If you are unvaccinated then please come forward and take the vaccines. If you have taken both vaccines then it is time for you to take a booster.

“If you can take those small steps, small precautions, you can help society.”

All eligible adults aged over 18 can get their booster from a walk-in vaccination centre or book online through the National Booking Service following updates to the programme this week.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Faith and local community leaders have played a vital role supporting the Covid-19 vaccine programme from the very beginning.

It is never too late to get your vaccine, whether it’s your first, second or third

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid

“Thank you to everyone who is uniting behind this national mission, spreading the word about the life-saving benefits of the vaccines and encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and get boosted now.

“Today’s discussion with faith leaders is another opportunity to listen to views from across the country and join forces to get ahead in the race against the Omicron variant.

“It is never too late to get your vaccine, whether it’s your first, second or third. Please come forward and get protected for yourself, your family and your community.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in