MEMBERS of the Muslim community are being advised not to delay having their COVID-19 Vaccine during the holy month of Ramadan.
GPs across Tees Valley have urged practising Muslims to ensure they get their first or second dose of the jab if it is offered during this time.
To reassure the Muslim community, the British Islamic Medical Association has reviewed the analysis of Islamic scholars and suggested that having the vaccine does not invalidate the Ramadan fast.
Dr Yusuf Soni, Riverside Medical Practice, 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 British Islamic Medical Association (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.
“We know that COVID-19 has already had a disproportionate impact on our BAME colleagues and communities, and we do not want to expose them to any further unnecessary risk by not having their first or second dose of the vaccination when it is offered.”
The 30-day holy period of Ramadan, which is due to start on the evening of Monday, 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.
“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,” said Dr Soni.
“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 Iman or GP.”
For further advice on staying well during Ramadan visit: www.nhs.uk/LiveWell.