Coronavirus: UAE Fatwa Council allows vaccines to be used in compliance with Islamic law

The religious authority cited the contagious nature of the disease to justify inoculation

The UAE Fatwa Council has allowed the use of Covid-19 vaccine in compliance with Islamic rules.

The announcement was made after Muslims were concerned over the halal status of the vaccines.

"Coronavirus vaccination is classified under preventive medicines for individuals, as recommended by the Islamic faith, particularly in times of pandemic diseases when the healthy happen to be prone to infections due to the high risk of contracting the disease, therefore posing risk to the entire society," the council said.

Even if the vaccine contains non-halal ingredients banned by Islam, the council said, it was permissible to use it in implementation of the Islamic rule that permitted the use of such products in case there were no alternatives.

The council cited the highly contagious nature of the disease as a justification to use vaccines.

"Right now, the vaccine is optional. We encourage anyone who wants to get this vaccine to get the advice of his doctor before taking it if you are allergic or if you have a health problem," the UAE Fatwa call centre told The National.

“It is important to be vaccinated if you are a frontline worker or above 65 years but it is different if you are a healthy person just at home.”

Dubai has authorised the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with the government set to begin an "extensive" inoculation campaign from Wednesday.

It is the second vaccine made available in the UAE after the Sinopharm shot was approved for nationwide use last month.

Dubai's Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management said a "wide and free vaccination campaign against Covid-19 with the Pfizer vaccine" would start immediately.

The Ministry of Health announced the emergency registration of the vaccine in the country late on Tuesday.