The United Arab Emirates’ Fatwa Council, the country’s highest Islamic authority, issued a ruling allowing Muslims to receive coronavirus vaccines even if they contain “non-halal ingredients” such as pork gelatin, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Tuesday.
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The fatwa, or Islamic ruling, comes amid growing concern among Muslims about whether the vaccine’s ingredients are permitted under Islamic law, according to WAM.
“Coronavirus vaccination is classified under preventive medicines for individuals, as recommended by the Islamic faith, particularly in times of pandemic diseases when the healthy happen to be prone to infections due to the high risk of contracting the disease, therefore posing risk to the entire society,” the council said.
Vaccines that contain ingredients that are considered “haram” or forbidden in Islam are not prohibited if there are no alternatives, according to the council.
Since COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that puts thousands of lives at risk, the use of the vaccines are acceptable, WAM cited the council as saying.
Dubai on Tuesday announced that it would begin offering free coronavirus vaccines to the public starting from Wednesday.
“Extensive vaccination campaign against COVID-19 kicks off in Dubai on Wednesday. Vaccination will use Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine and is free of charge,” Dubai’s Media Office quoted the committee as saying.