Senior GP reassures fellow Muslims that it is safe and permissible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while fasting during Ramadan

A Primary Care Clinical Director and GP has joined forces with other medical leaders and Islamic scholars to reassure fellow Muslims that it is safe and permissible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while fasting during Ramadan.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is an important time for practising Muslims that involves a month of fasting, worship and community celebration. It is due to begin on 12 April 2021 (subject to moon sightings) bringing with it a change to normal daily life for many of our Muslim communities and NHS workforce.

Dr Asif Ali, GP and Clinical Director for a local Primary Care Network in Slough, said: “As a Muslim and local GP, whose job it is to advice treat and save lives, I would encourage my fellow Muslim brothers, sisters and elders to take up the offer of the vaccine if contacted, first or second dose, during Ramadan.

“The vaccines are safe; are helping to drive down infection rates; and are evidentially our only way out of this pandemic which has touched all our lives in one way or another over the past 12 months.

“By delaying your vaccine, puts you and potentially your loved ones at risk of catching Covid and becoming very unwell.

“Having the vaccine will not break your fast as it’s not nutritional, nor does it contain any animal or foetal products. This reflects the advice of the majority of Islamic scholars that it is permissible.​ However, if you still have concerns about the vaccine, then please talk to a healthcare professional and make an informed decision.”

He added: “Ramadan will of course be a very different experience for us all again this year as we won’t be able to meet with family and friends as we would like to do, unless meeting in groups of 6 people outside, including in a private garden; or meeting in groups of 2 households outside.

“Whilst some mosques will be open for evening prayers (taraweeh), all previous restrictions will still apply and it is really important that anyone attending does all they can to protect themselves and those around them by adhering to guidelines in place. This includes social distancing and wearing masks to reduce transmission and save lives.”