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Vaccination: Religious Practice

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the vaccines for (a) diptheria, (b) tetanus, (c) pertussis, (d) polio, (e) Haemophilus influenza type b, (f) pneumococcal conjugate, (g) meningitis C, (h) MMR and (i) HPV available for use by GPs are halal; what halal alternatives are available for those which are not; and if he will make a statement. (247899)

Vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcal, Meningitis C, and HPV do not contain gelatine according to the summary of product characteristics provided by the manufacturers. Two MMR vaccines are available; one MMR vaccine—MMRVAXPRO—contains gelatine, the other MMR vaccine—Priorix—does not contain gelatine.

Vaccines that contain gelatine may not be considered halal. However, the Muslim Council of Britain supports the use of these vaccines and has always advised that vaccination must always be offered to all individuals identified to be at risk of communicable disease in order to prevent disease and deaths and have urged the Muslim community to continue to participate in the immunisation programmes to protect our children and adults from serious and potentially fatal infections.