Local health experts and an Imam hold session on having COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan

Health professionals from Leeds will be joined by a local Imam for a Facebook Live session, this will be about the importance of having the COVID-19 vaccine when invited during Ramadan.

The session will take place on Thursday 25 March, from 6-7pm on NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) Facebook page www.facebook.com/nhsleeds

Dr Mohammed Sattar, GP in Leeds and of the panel members, said: “We know that a lot of Muslims will be worried about having the COVID-19 vaccine during Ramadan, which is likely to start on 12 April, as they may think the vaccine will invalidate their fast. The Facebook Live session on 25 March will give us an opportunity to reassure Muslims that by having the vaccine will not break your fast.

“It’s really important that if you are invited for your vaccine during Ramadan that you take up your invite. If individuals have concerns, I strongly advise you to speak to your GP to put your mind at ease.

“Getting as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 is our best hope for returning to normal life. This includes celebrating festivities with our loved ones when it is safe to do so.

“The second part of the session, we will talk about some of the common questions that we keep hearing about COVID-19 vaccines. Some of these include concerns around fertility, are the vaccines halal, will vaccine change DNA and are the vaccines safe. It’s important that we give our communities that reassurance even if it means reinforcing those messages.”

Qari Asim MBE, Imam at Makkah Mosque and Chair of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), said: “The Covid vaccines are religiously permissible; they’re halal. The Covid vaccine can be taken during Ramadan and many Muslim scholars have said that taking the vaccine during Ramadan will not invalidate your fast.

“Concerns around taking vaccines and fasting have only recently been on people’s minds as most people don’t get vaccinated during Ramadan. You don’t get vaccinated as adults that often really and certainly not something that has come to be done quickly as is the case of the Covid vaccine. So, for this reason, it’s a question that has come up in the minds of many people and that’s why people are asking and seeking advice. It is a valid position, in Islam, to hold that taking the Covid vaccine whilst fasting will not break the fast. The vaccine has been shown to be safe, it’s shown to be effective and if you’re invited to have the vaccine please take up your invite.

“We know people have concerns about the side effects of the vaccine, these tend to be mild and should not last longer than a week. In the first few days of fasting, people tend to experience a mild headache and some fatigue, but people manage to carry on fasting. So, if you do experience side effects of the vaccine you should be able to continue to fast as these will be mild but please do seek appropriate medical advice.

“If you are eligible for the vaccine and have received your invite, you need to ask yourself: do you take the vaccine which has proven to be effective and have mild side effects or do you risk catching Covid, which can make you quite ill, meaning you may potentially miss the whole of Ramadan and possibly end up in hospital. You also risk passing it onto other members of the family who maybe more vulnerable, which is why I urge you to take the vaccine when invited during Ramadan.

“Getting as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 is our best hope for returning to normal life. Please have your vaccine when you are invited and help stop the virus.”

For further information about COVID-19 vaccine and Ramadan visit the British Islamic Medical Association website https://britishima.org/operation-vaccination/hub/statements/
Or, visit the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) website which has vaccine and Ramadan guidance http://minab.org.uk/vaccines-ramadan-guidance-for-muslims/

A recording of the session will be made available on the Facebook page, giving people a chance to listen back at a time of their choosing. To submit a question in advance please email leedsccg.comms@nhs.net or you can ask on the evening when the live session is taking place by posting a question in the ‘Comment’ box on the post.

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