The NHS and faith leaders are calling for all Muslims to protect themselves against COVID-19 this Ramadan.

Over the holy month, people are being reminded to remain cautious against the virus and protect those with a weakened immune system.

As COVID-19 is more serious in older people and those with a weakened immune system, the NHS is now calling those aged 75 and over, and people aged 12 and over who have a weakened immune system, to come forward for a spring booster.

One in five people in Blackburn with Darwen remain totally unvaccinated, with less than half having had their full three jabs for maximum protection against the virus.

COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters don’t contain animal products or pork and according to the British Islamic Medical Association individuals should not delay their COVID-19 vaccinations on account of Ramadan.

The opinion of Islamic scholars is that having a vaccination does not invalidate the fast.

Chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, Imam Rafiq Sufi, said: “Those that are the most vulnerable in society should consider taking the spring booster vaccine as a means of a precautionary measure for their own protection and the protection of their dear and near ones.

“The COVID-19 vaccine can also be taken in the state of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Taking the vaccine will not be a means of hindrance for the acceptance of the fast.”

Some people might experience some mild side effects such as a sore arm, fatigue, a headache, feeling sick, or feeling achy.

As a painkiller such as paracetamol is recommended, vaccination appointments could be booked in the late afternoon so in case of any potential side effects, medication can be taken on the breaking of the fast.

There are walk-in options for people to receive their boosters. People can find their nearest centre or book an appointment online or by calling 119 free of charge, with translators available, and more information can be found here.