Saudi firm to produce halal vaccine

Vaccines, especially that for meningitis, are required for those who perform the Haj, but are currently pork-based

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Three halal vaccines being produced by a Saudi corporation in collaboration with Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) are expected to be ready in three years, reported Malaysian news agency Bernama on Wednesday.

HDC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Jamil Bidin said the vaccines that are the focus of local and international scientists and Shariah experts, are meant to treat meningitis, hepatitis and meningococcal.

“We are finding ways to convert the vaccines to make it halal and hope to complete it as soon as possible,” he told the media after the official opening of the World Halal Week 2014 here on Wednesday.

The World Halal Week 2014 was launched by Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Established in September 2006, the HDC coordinates the overall development of the halal industry in Malaysia.

While focusing on the development of halal standards, audit and certification, as well as capacity building for halal products and services, the HDC also promotes participation and facilitates the growth of Malaysian companies in the global halal market.

Jamil said vaccines, especially that for meningitis, are required for those who perform the Haj, but are currently pork-based. He said non pork-based vaccines will be in high demand, not only among Muslims but also non-Muslims.

“People will go for the alternative once they know about it. After developing these three vaccines, we will continue to produce others,” he added.

Earlier in his speech, Mustapa said the halal vaccines will help alleviate fears and doubts amongst Muslims on the integrity of the product.

He said that Malaysia is happy to work with the Saudi Arabian company in setting up of a production facility at the Enstek Halal Park, with an investment of US$100 million to produce the vaccines.

This year’s World Halal Week has expanded to six halls with 620 booths, an increment of approximately 19.7 percent compared to last year.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 10, 2014

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