The new Covid-19 vaccine being rolled out across the UK has been deemed halal by a leading medical association and a team of scholars.

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) said it had taken all the available information into account including the increased risk from Covid-19 to those who are from an ethnic minority.

The BIMA said it has consulted various experts in infectious diseases, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical medicine, commissioning, inequalities research, public health and bioethicists. In a statement it says that ‘no animal products in this vaccine and no animal derived cells were used’. 

The organisation went on to add that British Muslim community has been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 with excess cases and deaths. And how ‘Chronic disease is often badly managed, with higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease5-whichare poor prognostic factors for Covid-19,with poor patient satisfaction and access to health services’.

After discussion with experts the organisation said it would recommend the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for eligible at-risks individuals in the Muslim community.

A fatwa was also posted by Yusuf Shabbir and approved by Mufti Shabbir Ahmad, Mufti Muhammad Tahir and NHS consultant Mawlana Kallingal Riyad stating the vaccine is Halal based on the information available.

It says, “The UK Government has confirmed that the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine does not contain any components of animal origin. The Government’s website states, “The Medicines and Healthcare products Agency can confirm that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine does not contain any components of animal origin.” 

“We contacted the Pfizer company requesting a breakdown of the ingredients which were shared with us. Initially, the only ingredient of concern was cholesterol, because it can be sourced from animal fat although it is normally sourced from the eggs of hens. 

“The aforementioned statement from the Government confirms that it is not sourced from animal fat, therefore it is Halal. The company has also confirmed this in an email to us which states, “All lipid excipients used in COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 are either from plant-derived sources or are synthetic. The vaccine contains no animal components.”

It goes on to add, “Please also note that this answer is regarding the Islamic permissibility of the vaccine. The decision to use the vaccine is a personal decision for each individual to make. It is recommended that individuals read the patient information leaflet to understand the benefits and risks and also discuss with medical professionals should they require further information.”

Concerns about the shots containing items banned under Islamic law continue to linger in Muslim-majority nations. Malaysia recently signed a deal with Pfizer Inc. to obtain its Covid-19 vaccine that will cover 6.4 million people, starting early next year.