Members of the Muslim community are being advised not to delay having their Covid-19 vaccine during the holy month of Ramadan.
GPs across the Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have urged practicing Muslims to ensure they get their first or second dose of the jab if it is offered during this time.
There have been concerns over the vaccine invalidating the Ramadan fast. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has reviewed the analysis of Islamic scholars and suggested that this would not be the case.
Dr Yusuf Soni of the Riverside Medical Practice in Stockton said, “It is important that we recognise concerns from our Muslim community who may be offered their vaccinations during the period of Ramadan.
“The BIMA has issued advice urging all Muslims observing Ramadan not to delay getting their vaccine if invited to do so.
“The content of the vaccine is halal, it does not contain pork or any other animal or foetal products and the BIMA has suggested that according to Islamic scholars having a jab will not invalidate the Ramadan fast, which we would advise discussing with your local Imam for further guidance.
The 30-day holy period of Ramadan, which starts today (April 12), is one of a number of faith celebrations, including Passover, Easter, Vaisakhi and Eid, which will be celebrated within some Covid-19 restrictions.
Dr Soni added, “Vaccination is the best way to make sure we can all go back to normal as soon as possible, including celebrating festivals with our loved ones when it is safe to do so.
“I would strongly encourage everyone to get their vaccine when they are invited to come forward and to discuss any concerns they may have with their Imam or GP.”