Nasal Flu Vaccine

Nasal Flu Vaccine

Question

The nasal flu vaccine offered by the NHS contains porcine gelatine. Is it permissible to take this vaccine? What is your advice as our school is offering this service?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Answer

The default position is that it is unlawful to take any medication that contains porcine gelatine or any other unlawful ingredient. Medication through a Haram product is only permissible if there is a necessity and there is no alternative medicine. We have consulted with Muslim doctors and concluded that these conditions are not fulfilled for the following reasons:

First, the flu vaccine is merely preventative. Its purpose is not to treat an existing illness. Therefore, it does not meet the necessity test, under normal circumstances.

Second, there is an alternative available in the form of an injection that does not contain porcine gelatine. The injection is currently only available on the NHS to those who are susceptible to flu because of poor underlying health.  The NHS website states, “However, if your child is at high risk from flu due to one or more medical conditions or treatments and can’t have the nasal flu vaccine they should have the flu vaccine by injection.” (Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/child-flu-vaccine-questions-and-answers.aspx#beliefs)

Accordingly, it is not permissible to take the vaccine.

Finally, our advice to parents is to abstain from the vaccine, and where necessary, request the injection. The NHS website states, “As with all immunisations, flu vaccinations for children are optional.”

قال الزيلعي في تبيين الحقائق (٦/٣٣): قال في النهاية: يجوز التداوي بالمحرم كالخمر والبول إذا أخبره طبيب مسلم أن فيه شفاء، ولم يجد غيره من المباح ما يقوم مقامه. وقال البابرتي في العناية (١٠/٦٧): فإن علم أن فيه شفاء وليس له دواء آخر غيره يجوز له الاستشفاء به. وقال الحصكفي في الدر المختار (١/٢١٠): وقيل: يرخص إذا علم فيه الشفاء ولم يعلم دواء آخر كما رخص الخمر للعطشان وعليه الفتوى، انتهى. وراجع رد المحتار )٥/٢٢٨). وقال الطحطاوي في حاشية الدر المختار (١/١١٥): ونقل الحموي أن لحم الخنزير لا يجوز التداوي به وإن تعين، ولو اختلط بغيره، ولو كان الغير غالبا عليه، ونقل ذلك عن الصاحبين والمرغيناني، وأن ذلك في التاتارخانية عن التتمة. انتهى۔

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

30 Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1439 / 18 December 2017

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad and Mufti Muhammad Tahir

www.nawadir.org