A top GP in south west London is today stressing that Ramadan should not stop anyone from getting the NHS COVID-19 vaccination.
Dr Kashif Aziz, confirmed that getting the jab does not break the fast observed by Muslims during daylight hours over Ramadan and that this is the confirmed opinion of the vast majority of scholars.
Some NHS vaccination sites across England are extending their opening hours so that Muslims can receive the jab after they have eaten and make it easier for people to find a convenient slot.
However, Dr Aziz a practising Muslim who works at Sutton Medical Centre, said that there was no need to avoid daylight hours and it is a religious duty for Muslims to get vaccinated when their turn comes.
Dr Aziz said: “I know that some Muslims will be wondering whether they can be vaccinated during Ramadan but I would like to reassure them that having the jab will not break their fast – it has no nutritional value.
“One of the central concepts of Islam is to protect life, so I would strongly urge people to get vaccinated when it’s their turn regardless of whether it is Ramadan or not.
“The vaccine is safe, effective and save lives. Giving the vaccine to as many people as possible is our best hope of returning to normal life – but if you have any questions I strongly advise you to speak to your GP to put your mind at ease.”
In Sutton, Twilight Vaccination clinics have been organised on Friday 16 April and Friday 30 April which will have appointments between 9:30pm and 12:00am so that people can come along for a vaccination later in the evening if this is more convenient for them.
The British Islamic Medical Association, an affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain, has issued specific advice, recommending the vaccine and insisting it is okay to have during Ramadan as it is not nutritional, nor does it contain any animal or foetal products. Full ingredient lists are published by the MHRA.
The NHS in south west London has been engaging with community and faith leaders, translating materials into 20 languages and reaching communities with pop-up clinics and in places of worship, including Mosque’s in Sutton, Wimbledon, Croydon and Merton.
For more information on Twilight Vaccination clinics see: http://www.companionsofthemosque.com/