What is the fatwa about vaccination especially rubella ?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Yes, it is permissible to take vaccines and immunize oneself (by the Will of Allah) against the possibility of future sickness or diseases.
However, if a specific vaccine is known to contain an impermissible substance, then taking it would be subject to meeting the same conditions as any other haram medicine:
1. The haram medicine (or vaccination) is needed and known to be effective.
2. There is no other alternative halal medicine (or vaccination) available.
3. A righteous Muslim doctor verifies the above two conditions. [i][ii][iii]
A cursory view of vaccine ingredients shows that some vaccines such as the MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) and Varicella (Chickenpox) do contain porcine gelatin to protect vaccine viruses from adverse conditions. However, there are gelatin-free alternatives available in some countries (see the footnotes below for further details). [iv][v][vi][vii][viii]
Regarding the rubella vaccine, it is erroneously assumed that the rubella vaccine includes fetal tissue or fetal cells because this vaccine was initially developed from an aborted fetus in the 1960’s. In reality, there is no fetal tissue or cells in the present day rubella vaccine. [ix][x][xi]
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Sohail ibn Arif,
Assistant – Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
قوله اختلف في التداوي بالمحرم) ففي النهاية عن الذخيرة يجوز إن علم فيه شفاء ولم يعلم دواء آخر) [i]
رد المحتار، ١/ ٢١٠
لا) تجوز الحقنة (بمحرم كالخمر ونحوها) قيل يجوز التداوي بالمحرم كالخمر والبول إن أخبره طبيب مسلم أن فيه) [ii]
شفاء والحرمة ترتفع بالضرورة
مجمع الأنهر، ٢/ ٥٥٥
وقوله (إلا أنه لا ينبغي أن يستعمل المحرم كالخمر ونحوها لأن الاستشفاء بالمحرم حرام) قيل إذا لم يعلم أن فيه شفاء [iii]
فإن علم أن فيه شفاء وليس له دواء آخر غيره يجوز له الاستشفاء به. ومع قول ابن مسعود – رضي الله عنه -: إن الله لم يجعل شفاءكم فيما حرم عليكم. يحتمل أن عبد الله قال ذلك في داء عرف له دواء غير المحرم، لأنه يستغنى بالحلال عن الحرام. ويجوز أن يقال: تنكشف الحرمة عند الحاجة فلا يكون الشفاء بالحرام وإنما يكون بالحلال
العناية شرح الهداية، ١٠/ ٦٧
[iv] “Sorbitol and gelatin are used as stabilizers but not all vaccines contain gelatin in the final product.”
[v] “Gelatin is contained in some vaccines to protect vaccine viruses from adverse conditions such as freeze-drying or heat….All gelatin contained in vaccines is porcine in origin.”
[vi] “Based on these findings, the vaccine manufacturers had removed gelatin from all the DTaP and live-virus vaccines produced in Japan by 2000.”
[vii] “Porcine gelatin is an ingredient in one of the MMR vaccines currently used in Scotland. If you have any concerns about this, please speak to your GP as there are alternative MMR vaccines available which do not contain porcine gelatin.”
[viii] “The vaccine with gelatin which is used widely in Britain is made by Aventis Pasteur, while Merck makes another vaccine containing porcine gelatin which is used widely across the world, but not in the UK. Another vaccine used in the UK is made by Priorix and is free of the material.”
[ix] “Rubella vaccination is grown in a cell culture called MRC5. This was developed in the 1960s from a small number of cells taken from a single fetus that had been aborted on medical grounds. During manufacturing the rigorous purification process removes all traces of the cells that the vaccine has grown in. There is no fetal tissue or fetal cells in this, or any other vaccine.”
[x] “No fetal tissue is included in the vaccines, either, so children are not injected with any part of an aborted fetus”
[xi] “The production of a few vaccines, including those for varicella, rubella, and hepatitis A, involves growing the viruses in human cell culture…No fetal tissue has been added since the cell lines were originally created.”