Covid vaccine 'does not break your fast', British Muslim doctors, scholars say ahead of Ramadan

Covid vaccine 'does not break your fast', British Muslim doctors, scholars say ahead of Ramadan
The British Islamic Medical Association says religious scholars have offered the opinion that vaccinations do not break the fast.
2 min read
04 March, 2021
Ramadan is expected to begin in mid-April this year [Getty]

British medical and religious experts are urging Muslims to take the Covid-19 vaccine, saying that it will not break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The holy month is expected to run from around 12 April until 12 May, when Muslims observing the fast will take no food or drink from before dawn until sunset each day.

"Taking the Covid-19 vaccines currently licensed in the UK does not invalidate the fast, as per the opinion of Islamic scholars. Individuals should not delay their Covid vaccinations on the account of Ramadan," the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) said in a statement.

"Subcutaneous, subdermal, intramuscular, interosseous, or intra-articular injections for non-nutritional purposes whilst fasting does not invalidate the fast, regardless of the injected content entering the blood circulation.

"These routes are not classed as entry sites that would invalidate the fast. Receiving the Covid-19 vaccine as an intramuscular injection, the only route for the vaccines currently available, therefore does not invalidate the fast," the medical association added.

Dr. Siema Iqbal, a British Muslim GP and trustee of AskDoc, a voluntary organisation which aims to engage ethnic minority communities on health, echoed the BIMA statement.

"I think where the vaccine is concerned it's no different to any other vaccine during Ramadan," Dr. Iqbal told The New Arab.

"Scholars have said all vaccines are permissible via the Intramuscular route so this is no different. It's clearly not a food or drink," she added.

Concerns have been raised about vaccine uptake among Britain's minority communities, with a report from the scientific committee advising the government showing stronger mistrust of vaccines among ethnic minorities than the rest of the UK population.

It highlighted that 72 percent of Black survey respondents were unlikely or very unlikely to get the vaccine.

Among those from Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds the figure was 42 percent.

Last month, British imams launched a drive to push back against fears among Britain's estimated 2.8 million Muslims that the vaccines contain pork gelatin or alcohol, which are banned by Islam.

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