Muslim Population Around The World Is Concerned Over The Halal Status Of COVID-19 Vaccine

There has already been much inconvenience due to public unacceptance towards measles vaccine in one of the largest Muslim-majority countries (Indonesia). Many among the Pakistanis still consider the consumption of the Polio vaccine inconvenient for use.

Covid-19 vaccine distribution campaigns may face disruption due to the speculations about the use of pork products. Pork products are religiously banned by some religious groups and their use has raised concerns about the use of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This presents a dilemma for religious communities, including Jews and Muslims, where the consumption of pork products is religiously forbidden.

It has been reported that 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 but high demand, existing supply chains, cost, and the shorter shelf life of those vaccines that don’t contain porcine gelatin ascertain that the ingredient is likely to continue to be used in a majority of vaccines for years.

Spokespeople for Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca have reportedly said that the pork products are not part of their COVID-19 vaccines.

But limited supply and preexisting deals worth millions of dollars with other companies mean that some countries with large Muslim populations, such as Indonesia, will receive vaccines that have not yet been certified to be gelatin-free.

The majority consensus from past debates over pork gelatin use in vaccines is that it is permissible under Islamic law, as “greater harm” would occur if the vaccines weren’t used, said Dr. Harunor Rashid, an associate professor at the University of Sydney.

The Chinese version of vaccine-like many other things in China is yet a secret and no information about the vaccine’s ingredients is available.

Sinovac Biotech, as well as Chinese companies Sinopharm and CanSino Biologics, have declined to respond to the requests by Associated Press about ingredient information. All these COVID-19 vaccines are in late-stage clinical trials and selling millions of doses around the world.

Pakistan is in a late-stage clinical trial of the CanSino Biologics vaccine. It is high time that public trust in the credibility, as well as the use of Covid-19 vaccine, is reviewed.

There has already been much inconvenience due to public unacceptance towards measles vaccine in one of the largest Muslim-majority countries (Indonesia). Many among the Pakistanis still consider the consumption of the Polio vaccine inconvenient for use.

In such a scenario, the government’s outreach to the public is unavoidable. Community-level awareness campaigns by governments through media as well as local representatives can help in motivating the large swathes of religious groups, especially in Muslim countries.

Effectivity, safety, timely arrival, purchase, as well as execution plan of Covid-19 vaccines are some of the great challenges towards a Covid-19 free world yet social interaction is mandatory to clear the public perception about any vaccine that is likely to make its way in communities.

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