Concern among Muslims over halal status of COVID-19 vaccine

The Muslim Times has the best collection to refute fundamentalism and about the holy Quran

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — In October, Indonesian diplomats and Muslim clerics stepped off a plane in China. While the diplomats were there to finalize deals to ensure millions of doses reached Indonesian citizens, the clerics had a much different concern: Whether the COVID-19 vaccine was permissible for use under Islamic law.

As companies race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and countries scramble to secure doses, questions about the use of pork products — banned by some religious groups — has raised concerns about the possibility of disrupted immunization campaigns.

Pork-derived gelatin has been widely used as a stabilizer to ensure vaccines remain safe and effective during storage and transport. Some companies have worked for years to develop pork-free vaccines: Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has produced a pork-free meningitis vaccine, while Saudi- and Malaysia-based AJ Pharma is currently working on one of their own.

But demand, existing supply chains, cost and the shorter shelf life of vaccines not containing porcine gelatin means the ingredient is likely to continue to be used in a majority of vaccines for years, said Dr. Salman Waqar, general secretary of the British Islamic Medical Association.

Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have said that pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines. But limited supply and preexisting deals worth millions of dollars with other companies means that some countries with large Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, will receive vaccines that have not yet been certified to be gelatin-free.

This presents a dilemma for religious communities, including Orthodox Jews and Muslims, where the consumption of pork products is deemed religiously unclean, and how the ban is applied to medicine, he said.

“There’s a difference of opinion amongst Islamic scholars as to whether you take something like pork gelatin and make it undergo a rigorous chemical transformation,” Waqar said. “Is that still considered to be religiously impure for you to take?”

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Categories: Fundamentalism, Quran, Vaccine

3 replies

  1. If any Muslim has partaken food in any Western restaurant he or she can rest assured that they have eaten small microscopic amounts of pork, just because of sharing of cooking pots and other crockery.

    Therefore a small amount of pork gelatin to save lives in vaccines is not going to hurt us, physically, morally or spiritually.

    The holy Quran puts a a very high premium on saving lives.

    Let us not be always penny wise and pound foolish. May Allah’s grace be with all of us. Ameen!

  2. Well said Dr Shah, It is just like using small amount of alcohol in medications. Also to save life eating pork itself is allowed.

  3. Yes, and to save lives, it should be ok . Since the Qur’an tells us that if needs be, and we are dying we can consume what is normally haram for us, to be able to survive.

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