AstraZeneca on Sunday countered the assertion made by Indonesia’s highest Muslim clerical council, the Indonesia Ulema Council. It had on Friday said that the vaccine is "haram" because the manufacturing process uses "trypsin from the pork pancreas".
Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has said its COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any pork-derived ingredients. AstraZeneca's Indonesia director Rizman Abudaeri said, “At all stages of the production process, this virus vector vaccine does not use nor come in contact with pork-derived products or other animal products.”
The world’s most populous Muslim nation had on Friday approved the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after reviewing reports that it had caused blood clots among some recipients in Europe.
Meanwhile, a few European nations have also begun the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after a brief suspension. This comes after after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not linked to an overall increase in the risk of blood clots and that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also said that the AstraZeneca vaccine continues to have a positive benefit-risk profile, with tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths across the world.
In a statement on Friday, the WHO said that based on available data the review team found no increased risk of blood clotting conditions in people who received the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.
So far, more than 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Europe and more than 27 million doses of the Covishield vaccine (AstraZeneca vaccine by Serum Institute of India) have been administered in India.