UAE Fatwa Council okays COVID-19 vaccines with pork gelatin

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, December 23, 2020, 11:13 PM IST
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The United Arab Emirates' highest Islamic authority, the UAE Fatwa Council, has ruled that coronavirus vaccines are permissible for Muslims even if they contain pork gelatin.

The ruling follows growing alarm that the use of pork gelatin, a common vaccine ingredient, may hamper vaccination among Muslims who consider the consumption of pork products "haram", or forbidden under Islamic law.

If there are no alternatives, Council Chairman Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah said that the coronavirus vaccines would not be subject to Islam's restrictions on pork because of the higher need to "protect the human body".

The council added that in this case, the pork gelatin is considered medicine, not food, with multiple vaccines already shown to be effective against a highly contagious virus that "poses a risk to the entire society".

Meanwhile, the super-infectious corona variant is sweeping across Britain with hotspots London and the East of England revealing the fastest growing outbreaks.

The R rate figure is highest in East of England and in London, with a possible value of between 1.2 and 1.5. This means that every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 more. The variant has triggered ‘explosive’ outbreaks in schools, since children more susceptible to the variant.

In fact, scientists have warned that the new strain – believed to be up to 70 per cent more infectious than normal Covid – will already be circulating 'in the vast majority, if not all' European countries, despite only a handful confirming cases, online reports said.

There is an even chance that half of those who have tested positive after coming from the UK may be potential carriers of the new Covid strain in India.

Thus far, 20 passengers from UK have tested positive.

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