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Religious Leaders Approval of
Use of Vaccines Containing Porcine Gelatin

click here for list of vaccines with porcine-containing gelatin

more Religious Issues Associated with Vaccines

 

For observant Muslims

WHO Letter Reports On Islamic Legal Scholars' Verdict on the Medicinal Use Of Gelatin Derived From Pork Products

From: IAC EXPRESS Issue Number 400 July 21, 2003

A letter written in July 2001 by the Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the Eastern Mediterranean reported on the findings of more than one hundred Islamic legal scholars who met to clarify Islamic purity laws. The scholars met in 1995 at a seminar convened by the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences on the topic "The Judicially Prohibited and Impure Substances in Foodstuff and Drugs."

The topic is of interest to the immunization community because some vaccines contain pork gelatin. In Islamic law, pork and pork products are impure, and observant Muslims do not consume them. Quoting from a statement issued by the scholars, the letter states the following: "The seminar issued a number of recommendations, included in the attached statement, stipulating that 'Transformation which means the conversion of a substance into another substance, different in characteristics, changes substances that are judicially impure . . . into pure substances, and changes substances that are prohibited into lawful and permissible substances'."

Consequently, the scholars determined that the transformation of pork products into gelatin alters them sufficiently to make it permissible for observant Muslims to receive vaccines containing pork gelatin and to take medicine packaged in gelatin capsules.

Directly access the WHO letter and the seminar statement

 

For observant Jews

31 July 2003

To whom it may concern

Re: Porcine and other animal derived ingredients in non oral medication.

It should be noted that according to Jewish laws, there is no problems with porcine or other animal derived ingredients in non oral products. This includes vaccines, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments.

Rabbi Abraham Adler, BPharm MRPharm S
Kashrus and Medicines Information Service

 

 

This page was last updated on February 12, 2014

2014 Institute for Vaccine Safety