With families and loved ones coming together to celebrate Ramadan, Muslim community members have been encouraging people to talk about the COVID-19 vaccine and support each other to book and/or attend appointments if they are eligible.
There has been concern among those observing Ramadan that they may not be able to take the vaccine while fasting. GP Mahreen Chawdhery, who works at 3-zero-6 Medical Centre in Dulwich, noted, however, “Muslim scholars agree that it is acceptable to have the vaccine during Ramadan because of its benefits and the fact that it is taken out of medical need.”
She additionally noted that the vaccine is Halal and contains no meat products, so it is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
The vaccine does not invalidate fasting and it is halal
The Muslim Council of Britain’s position is that the COVID-19 vaccine does not invalidate the fast during Ramadan and that individuals should not delay their vaccinations on account of Ramadan.
The British Islamic Medical Association also has a page dedicated to dispelling myths about the vaccine and confirm that the vaccine is halal.
Across South East London there have been several pop-up vaccination clinics, such as the recent clinic held at the Peckham Islamic Centre. Ali Abdullah, who is a member at Peckham Islamic Centre Mosque, said “I took the vaccine at Peckham Islamic Centre Mosque. The NHS staff came to the mosque and explained to me that the vaccine is Halal and does not contain meat products. I personally think the vaccine is good thing to take as prevention is very important. I am very happy I have had the vaccine.”
‘Vaccines help us protect ourselves and our loved ones’
Dr Chawdhery also said, “the more people that are vaccinated, the more protection we’ll see throughout the whole community. Even if you are young and healthy, people in your surroundings may not be, and you could spread the virus without realising. Vaccines help you protect yourself and your loved ones. We all need to participate in this combined effort.”
If you are aged 45 and over, an eligible frontline health worker, you receive a Carers Allowance, have a learning disability, are clinically extremely vulnerable (high risk) or clinically vulnerable (moderate risk) – you can book your vaccine online at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119 without needing an invitation. If you are eligible to use this service but cannot get an appointment, speak to your GP surgery.
If you are not eligible for the vaccine yet, wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine.
For the latest information on the vaccination campaign in south-east London, see our vaccination FAQs.