The United Arab Emirates' highest Islamic authority, the UAE Fatwa Council, has ruled that coronavirus vaccines are permissible for Muslims even if they contain pork gelatin.
The ruling follows growing alarm that the use of pork gelatin, a common vaccine ingredient, may hamper vaccination among Muslims who consider the consumption of pork products "haram", or forbidden under Islamic law.
If there are no alternatives, Council Chairman Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah said that the coronavirus vaccines would not be subject to Islam's restrictions on pork because of the higher need to "protect the human body".
The council added that in this case, the pork gelatin is considered medicine, not food, with multiple vaccines already shown to be effective against a highly contagious virus that "poses a risk to the entire society".
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine