Jesus House in collaboration with The NHS, has successfully completed the temporary transformation of the church into a pop-up vaccination clinic, as part of the on-going nationwide vaccination programme.
With recent stats highlighting significant hesitancy to taking the vaccine within the BAME communities in the UK, the faith-led effort is very welcome from the large north London church which has a significant percentage of its congregation from ethnic minorities.
The pilot pop up clinic for COVID vaccinations was held at the Jesus House premises on Sunday 28th February 2021 between 2 pm and 4 pm.
Volunteers from the church contacted eligible congregants, in line with the NHS rollout timetable and invited them to the centre to receive the vaccination.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, senior pastor at Jesus House said, ‘I am going to take the vaccine myself and so are my wife and children because it’s not just about you, it is about protecting others. I believe also that it is part of the answer to our prayers, we have been praying for God to give the scientific community wisdom for a vaccine and now we have a vaccine. Prayers have been answered, so let’s go ahead and take the vaccine.’
Jesus House and many other churches have been hosting Q&A sessions with clinical experts, some of whom are part of the church congregations, to address concerns, debunk misinformation and encourage open conversations about the vaccine programme so that people can make informed decisions.
Jesus House recently held a seminar called ‘Conversations about the Covid-19 vaccine’ (http://www.jh7.uk/jhcovidconvo) which provided an opportunity for the BAME community to ask health care professionals questions about the vaccines in order to be equipped with enough information to make up their minds about takeup. The seminar was hosted by Pastor Agu who said:
‘There are a number of people who were not going to take the vaccine or were sitting on the fence and are now going to take the vaccine, thanks to the combined efforts of the NHS and the local churches in and around the country.’
A recipient of the vaccine, Mrs Iroche, was asked what Influenced her decision to take the vaccine, she said, ‘A GP friend, who is over 70 and has himself received the vaccine, greatly encouraged me to do so and the subtle encouragement of my children was also of great benefit. But the conversations organised by Jesus House along with the panel of medical experts, swayed my decision.
I also have a friend who is over 80, who received the vaccine in December 2020 and has suffered no adverse effects.’
We would like to encourage anyone who is still unsure about taking the vaccine to contact us and ask questions; we have health care professionals in our community who are able to shed more light on the intricate details you may be unsure of.