Boosters with bhajis and vaccines with vindaloos are on the menu at an Indian restaurant in Bradford as part of a bid to make getting a COVID vaccine more convenient.
Ishfaq Farooq owns MyLahore, a curry house that is doubling up as a pop-up clinic in an effort to help the local community.
“Alongside the NHS, we all have a part to play in the race to protect people from Omicron,” he said.
“That’s why we’ve decided to put on this clinic for our customers, alongside the opportunity to talk to clinical experts so that they can get trusted information beforehand.
“I’m urging people from all communities, who are now ready to get vaccinated, to come forward and have your COVID-19 vaccine so we can keep our families safe.”
The statistics suggest that “having a naan whilst protecting your Nan” is a message that needs to be heard.
In the seven days up to 20 December, there were more than 2,000 (2,142) positive test results in Bradford, an increase of 33% on the week before.
But vaccination levels remain comparatively low.
In the area around the MyLahore restaurant less than half (47.4%) of adults and over-12s have had their first dose, compared to almost 90% nationally.
And only 39% have had a second dose. Across the rest of the UK that total is over 80%.
One of the NHS team delivering the vaccines in the restaurant is Rukeya Miah, deputy associate director of nursing and the senior midwife at Bradford District and Craven Vaccination Programme.
She said: “We’re pleased to be working alongside MyLahore again and I would like to thank Ishfaq on behalf of the NHS for all the support he has given to the vaccination programme, and offering us a space to vaccinate at his restaurant.
“All NHS staff are working incredibly hard to get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can because of the threat the Omicron variant poses to us and our communities.”
The restaurant is the latest in a series of venues being used as temporary vaccination clinics.
Others have been set up in shopping centres, sports venues, Hindu temples, mosques, racecourses, Christmas markets and fire stations.
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “Omicron cases are worryingly high so there is no reason to delay – if you haven’t done so you should get boosted now.
“NHS staff are putting on new sites all the time to make it as convenient as possible – you can even pick up a booster with a bhaji in Bradford.”
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