Are the vaccines halal or not?
Gelatin derived from pigs is used as a stabiliser in some vaccines but the consumption of pork is forbidden to Muslims, who make up some 90% of the Indonesian population.And messages have been circulating on social media in Indonesia saying that the Sinovac vaccine contains elements of monkeys.
President Widodo, a Muslim himself, has said it shouldn’t matter because it’s a heath emergency, but some have been looking for religious guidance.
The Indonesia Ulema Council or (MUI), whose job it is to decide such things, held long discussions and after an in-depth audit, it announced that the Sinovac vaccine is halal.
Previously, 30-40% of people surveyed by the Ministry of health had expressed doubts about the Covid-19 vaccine, and 7% said they did not want to be vaccinated.
Concern about whether the vaccine was halal or not was one of the key reasons, said Dr Nadia.
“Praise be to God, that has been cleared up,” she said.