Tower Hamlets Council is urging Muslims to be ‘Ramadan ready’ and take up the Covid-19 vaccine if due one.
Whether due a first, second or booster dose, getting the vaccine will help keep those observing the holy month of Ramadan safe, ahead of its start on the evening of Saturday 2 April 2022.
Great progress has been made in working to tackle the virus; however, it is still among us and can cause severe illness. The safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk remains taking up the offer of vaccination when eligible.
There are still many local clinics in Tower Hamlets offering vaccination such as GP surgeries, pharmacies, and community spaces – including the East London Mosque where runs a clinic every Monday and Tuesday.
To reassure the Muslim community around vaccinations during Ramadan, the British Islamic Medical Association has confirmed that having the vaccine does not invalidate the fast. In addition, the vaccine does not contain pork or other animal, foetal or alcohol products.
If you are taking prescribed medicines, you should continue taking them during Ramadan, but check with your GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times that you take them need to be changed.
If you have diabetes and want to fast, speak to your GP or diabetes nurse about the safest way to do this. There is an exemption from fasting for people with diabetes, especially those taking insulin or with medical complications.
Dr Somen Banerjee, Director of Public Health at Tower Hamlets Council, said: “The holy month of Ramadan has been very different for our Muslim community over the past few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with so many making sacrifices and changes to their usual practices as a result.
“Today, as we learn to live with the virus it is important to remind everyone that vaccination remains the best protection against Covid-19.
“The virus is still among us and can cause severe illness. This is why I am urging everyone, including our Muslim community, to be Ramadan ready and protect themselves by taking up the offer of vaccination.”
Fasting is not considered compulsory for many groups – including people who are unwell with a physical or mental illness or have a long-term condition; people who are very frail; people with learning difficulties; and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating. In addition, those with increased risk of contracting Covid-19 should consider alternative options to fasting.
Stop smoking during Ramadan
Ramadan is also considered an ideal time to quit smoking. Stopping smoking has immediate benefits to your physical and long-term health as it significantly reduces the chances of developing many illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, COPD, stroke and cancer.
Local stop smoking advisors, Quit Right Tower Hamlets, will be at the East London Mosque from 11am to 2pm on Friday 25 March to launch the Quit Smoking for Ramadan campaign.
Practical advice and tips on quitting smoking will be available, including the best methods available and free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (like patches, sprays and gums) to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
In combination with advisor support, Quit Right offers residents a great opportunity to quit smoking and improve physical and mental health.
- Advice on staying safe during Ramadan is available on the council website
- Support is also available through the council helpline on 020 7364 3030, where call handlers speak community languages.
- All information on vaccine clinics is available on the council website
- The British Islamic Medical Association advises that anyone becoming unwell after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine or due to another reason, should stop fasting and seek medical advice. This can be done by visiting 111 online or your GP practice’s website. Anyone without access to the internet, can call 111 or your practice directly. Please note that most side-effects from the vaccine are mild and clear up on their own after a few hours.
- Anyone who develops symptoms of Covid-19 while fasting, is advised by GPs to stop fasting, self-isolate and get tested. If you are worried about your symptoms or are not sure what to do, visit 111 online or speak to your GP practice.
- Free and friendly stop smoking advice is available both in English and Bengali. To find out more and book a consultation visit Quit Right call the helpline on 020 7882 8230 / 0800 1691943, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07474 082 330.
Posted on Tuesday 22nd March 2022