Publish date: 15 March 2021

“Vaccines do not kill, the virus does”: that was the message from local leaders from a variety of different faiths during an event at the newly opened vaccination centre at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The leaders used the occasion to show unity and call for everyone to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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The event was led by the chair of UCLH, Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger, who said: “We were delighted to welcome faith leaders from Islington today to encourage everyone to be vaccinated.  At UCLH, we have seen first-hand the terrible toll on individuals and families that COVID-19 can bring. The vaccines are the best route out of the pandemic. They are safe and effective. Everyone should take up the opportunity to be vaccinated when offered.”

The Business Design Centre, based in the heart of the London Borough of Islington, normally plays host to around 250 events each year, welcoming almost one million visitors through its doors. The large exhibition hall has been converted in to a vaccination centre run by UCLH, with private booths where people give their consent and then vaccinated. The bright and welcoming space makes social distancing easy, with volunteers and staff on hand to help guide people through the process.  

Blessings and encouragement to be vaccinated were shared by The Rev Dr Temi Odejide, Imam Ibrahim, Rabbi Mendy Korer and Father Allan Alvarado Gil.

Rev. Dr. Temi Odejide said: “Vaccines do not kill, the virus does. Vaccines are not our enemy, the virus is. The vaccines are a valiant and effective way to stop this deadly virus. We really should not be fighting what is meant to help us.”

Imam Ibrahim said: “O people! Be treated! There is no disease that our God Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment. Then, seek treatment (Hadith)."

Rabbi Mendy Korer added: “We continue to see incredible unity across communities in supporting each other through the challenges of the pandemic. As we are opening this vaccination hub at a very auspicious time, just before the festival of Passover, may we all see the redemption from COVID-19. May the cross communal efforts, unity and resolve of everyone here, from the NHS and UCLH, the Business Design Centre, the local council and fellow faith leaders, bring blessings and full health to everyone.”

Fr Allan Alvarado Gil said: “I would like to encourage everyone to go and get the vaccine against Covid-19 when offered to you. Accepting the vaccine is an act of love for our society and our loved ones, especially those most vulnerable.”

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, said: “This huge new vaccination centre at the Business Design Centre is an incredible achievement, and will be a massive boost to the NHS effort to give the vaccine to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, right here in Islington.

“I join our local faith leaders in saying that we all have a part to play in defeating this terrible virus, by getting vaccinated. So when you receive an invitation to get a jab, please book yourself an appointment. It’s crucial that we all keep doing our bit to protect one another so we can get back to a more normal way of life.”

Click on each faith leaders name to watch their video from the event: Rabbi Mendy Korer, The Rev Dr Temi Odejide, Imam Ibrahim, and Father Allan Alvarado Gil. There are also videos from our Chair Rabbi Baroness Neuberger and Cllr Watts and the owner of the BDC, Jack Morris.

Rabbi Mendy Korer

The Rev Dr Temi Odejide

Imam Ibrahim

Father Allan Alvarado Gil

There are also videos from our Chair Rabbi Baroness Neuberger and Cllr Watts and the owner of the BDC, Jack Morris.

Chair Rabbi Baroness Neuberger

Cllr Sue Lukes

Jack Morris