MCB Position on Flu Vaccines
Today the Daily Telegraph states incorrectly on its front page that the Muslim Council of Britain has ‘ruled’ flu vaccines for children to be forbidden in Islam. The story went on to say ‘Muslim parents across the country have been told that the Fluenz spray is not permitted because it contains gelatin derived from pigs, which are considered unclean.’
Yet, the Muslim Council of Britain does not and has never issued Islamic rulings, that is the job of scholars who have a diversity of views.
On flu vaccines, the Muslim Council of Britain conveys the views of a diverse range of scholars: that vaccines containing porcine are not permitted in Islam UNLESS lives are at risk and there are no alternatives.
Our view is not that Muslims should automatically refuse such treatment. Health is paramount, anyone concerned about the use of gelatin in vaccines must consult a medical practitioner and make an informed decision.
The Muslim Council of Britain has, since its inception, campaigned to improve health in British Muslim communities.
When this first became an issue of concern for many Muslim parents in 2014, the MCB facilitated a discussion between Public Health England, scholars, representatives from local and specialist Muslim groups.
In Scotland concerns were addressed by the public health authorities agreeing to offer the alternative injectable vaccine to children whose parents did not wish to take the nasal spray vaccine.
We understand that Public Health England has not considered offering the injectable vaccine to all children, but is doing so for children at risk.
In short, we have never advised against the flu vaccines but have sought clarity from health authorities so that parents can make informed choices.
This was stated repeatedly to the Daily Telegraph. We will be referring the paper to IPSO in due course.