Omicron threat: Mosques in Hyderabad launch free vaccination drive

Hyderabad: In response to the Omicron alert in the state and resistance to COVID-19 immunisation in some parts of the Old City, Muslim social workers and religious leaders have stepped forward to organise vaccination clinics in mosques.

The immunisation drive is organised in partnership with the Helping Hand Foundation (HHF), a local non-governmental organisation, and SEED, a US-based non-governmental organisation.

Around 100 volunteers, counsellors, vaccinators, data entry operators, supervisors, and support personnel from mosques will participate in the immunisation drive, which will go on for six months. The volunteers will go door to door to inoculate people in around 100 slums.

According to a preliminary assessment survey, vaccination coverage in the Old City’s minority-dominated sections is low. As per the survey, 35 percent of adults have not had their first dose of vaccination and 67 percent have not received their second dose of vaccination in the catchment area of 20 slums.

Three mosques in Rajendranagar, Hasanagar, and Shaheen Nagar, which operate basic health care centres in their area, will lead the vaccination initiative.

On Monday, MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi formally launched the vaccination drive in Masjid Mohammad Mustafa in Rajendranagar.

During Friday prayers, Imams at mosques will also debunk vaccination rumours and will emphasise the necessity for COVID-19 vaccination.

This is not the first time that mosques in Hyderabad are coming forward to help fight the deadly coronavirus. Several mosques in the city have taken similar initiatives in the past too. In July this year, a mosque in Rajendranagar was converted into a COVID isolation centre and later three mosques in the same area were converted to post-Covid care centres.

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