The Mandir community is extremely proud that in loving memory of our beloved Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, and under the inspiration of Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj, we have become the first Mandir in the UK to open a Covid vaccination centre.
The centre will be run by Harness Care*, a group of 20 GP practices, and aims to immunise over 1,300 people a day. As part of the Mandir’s charity and community work and in following Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s tenet of “Society Before Self”, the Mandir has donated use of Purushottam Mahal for this vitally important project. Moreover, members of the community are volunteering to provide Harness Care* with additional support, including IT, logistics and stewarding of people.
Dr Sachin Patel, GP and Chair of Harness Care* said,
“This centre will send an unequivocal message to the Hindu and wider South Asian community that the vaccine is safe and permitted. We’re thankful to Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury for the leading role they are playing.”
Throughout the pandemic, the Mandir has collected donation for local food banks, delivered essentials to NHS front line staff and those in need, and continued to hold blood donation sessions – all essential services during the Coronavirus crisis. And now, the Mandir is playing a key role in helping to keep local communities safe from COVID-19, as well as taking pressure of the NHS, by providing the site for this vaccination centre.
Mandir trustee, Dr Mahesh Varsani - himself an immunologist and researcher in cell and gene therapies - said,
“Everything we know about the vaccine is that it is effective, and none of its components or manufacturing processes contravenes Hindu doctrine. In the same way the Mandir dispelled myths about Hindus donating organs and blood, we aim do the same for these vaccines.”
As further evidence of the vaccines’ safety, and compatibility with our faith, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj and Sants have also registered to receive the vaccine in India.
There are many fake news stories about the vaccines on WhatsApp groups and social media; from potential safety concerns stemming from the speed with which they have been developed and approved, to misinformation that they contain meat or eggs – this may be partly to blame for some sectors of the community, such as Hindus, disproportionately rejecting the vaccine compared to white communities. If you have any concerns about the vaccines, please do come forward with your questions and we will aim to address them.
Darshna Patel, Vaccine Programme Manager, GP Pharmacist and a member of our Mandir community, will be administering vaccines at the Mandir centre. She echoed the importance of tackling the false information being spread.
“We are doing this to encourage people to say 'yes' to this vaccine, which is a global triumph for British science, innovation and medicine. And we, as a Mandir are saying ‘no’ to the fake and damaging news about it.”
*Harness is a primary healthcare organisation committed to quality care and health improvement in the community.
Harness’s two Primary Care Networks are made up of member practices based in geographical areas who are collaborating to provide services to their local population. Harness North PCN, under the Clinical Directorship of Dr. Sachin Patel & Dr. Milind Bhatt, comprises:
Wembley Park Drive Medical Centre
Sunflower Medical Centre
SMS Medical Practice
Pearl Medical Practice
Lanfranc Medical Centre
Church Lane Surgery
Willow Tree Family Doctors
Sudbury and Alperton Medical Centre
Preston Hill Surgery
Preston Medical Centre