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Covid vaccine does not conflict with religious fasting

As the Bradford district passed the 250,000 jabs mark for Covid-19 vaccinations, one leading health expert has sought to reassure anyone who is about to take part in fasting for religious reasons.

Muslims everywhere will enter the holy month of Ramadan on April 12, during which time it is customary to fast between dawn and dusk. Other religions have their own fasting festivals and practices throughout the year.

Professor Mahendra Patel from the University of Bradford said getting the vaccine was vital even for those observing fast during the coming holy month of Ramadan, health permitting.

No conflict

He said: “Ramadan is a period of fasting for those of Muslim faith and while the vast majority will observe fast from dawn to dusk – and of course some may be exempt, say for health reasons – having the vaccine does not invalidate the fast. This is according to many highly esteemed Islamic scholars and organisations as well as the British Islamic Medical Association.”

BIMA states on its website that taking Covid-19 vaccines or Covid-19 tests during Ramadan does not invalidate the fast.

Prof Patel said: “People should not delay or hesitate getting their vaccines out of fear of breaking their fast. It is important to look after their health first. The vaccine is non-nutritional and is given by intramuscular injection, also an entry route for injections permissible during fasting.

“We should be mindful that people of other faiths may also be fasting, often at different and regular times in the year, such as Hindus, for example. There is nothing in the Hindu religious teachings or interpretation thereof which suggests Hindus should not have the Covid-19 vaccine and irrespective of any fasting.”

Strong response

Prof Patel, who is a member of Bradford Hindu Council, said: “We at the council are urging people to come forward for the vaccine and that it does not conflict with any religious beliefs or practices. This is further endorsed by various Hindu priests and community leaders both in the region and nationally.”

He added: “Bradford is going strong with the vaccine roll-out. We have already passed 250,000, which is half the district. It’s vitally important that we continue with the good work we have already done, so I would urge anyone who receives an invitation to get the vaccine and not delay. Let’s all play our part in helping to keep everyone safe from this nasty virus, to protect themselves, their loved ones and the society as a whole.”

Professor Patel is Honorary Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Life Sciences and also a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board.

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