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MMR Vaccine and Porcine Gelatine

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by IslamicPortal.co.uk

In the UK, most if not all children are required to take the MMR vaccine, this obviously includes Muslim children. The UK uses two brands of the vaccine, one which contains porcine as a stabilizer. In such a case what is the ruling pertaining to the vaccination which contains porcine? If surgeries do not allow parents the option to choose between the two brands, what course of action should parents take?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم


Before answering the question, it is pertinent to note that the MMR vaccine, like other vaccinations, is optional in the UK and not a legal requirement. The NHS Leaflet entitled ‘Vaccines and porcine gelatine’ states, “The final decision about whether or not to be vaccinated, or have your child vaccinated, is yours”. It is true that medical experts strongly recommend MMR vaccination because measles, mumps and rubella are diseases that have significant complications if someone gets them.

In relation to the question, it is our understanding based on the NHS leaflet and after speaking to Muslim doctors that the NHS offer two types of the MMR vaccine, one without porcine gelatine and with porcine gelatine. The NHS leaflet which was revised on October 2018 states, “MMR: in the UK we have two types of MMR vaccine – MMR VaxPro and Priorix. Priorix does not contain gelatine and is as safe and effective as MMR VaxPro.” The leaflet further states, “Parents not wishing their children to have the porcine gelatine-containing MMR vaccine should request the Priorix vaccine from their GP.” Therefore, as there is an alternative available, it is not permissible to use the MMR VaxPro. Parents must request the Priorix vaccine and there is no reason for GPs to refuse this. It is also our understanding that the Priorix vaccine is cheaper than the VaxPro vaccine.

If for some reason in the future, this choice is not available for free under the NHS, those seeking the MMR vaccine will be required to explore other options such as the use of private GPs and pay for the Priorix vaccine.

قال الله تعالى: إنما حرم عليكم الميتة والدم ولحم الخنزير، الإية. قال الطحطاوي في حاشية الدر المختار (١/١١٥): ونقل الحموي أن لحم الخنزير لا يجوز التداوي به وإن تعين، ولو اختلط بغيره، ولو كان الغير غالبا عليه، ونقل ذلك عن الصاحبين والمرغيناني، وأن ذلك في التاتارخانية عن التتمة. انتهى۔

وقال فخر الإسلام البزدوي: فعل الاستشفاء بالحرام إنما لا يجوز إذا لم يعلم أن فيه شفاء، أما إذا علم أن فيه شفاء وليس له دواء آخر غيره يجوز الاستشفاء به، كذا في البناية (١٢/٢٧١). وقال الزيلعي في تبيين الحقائق (٦/٣٣): قال في النهاية: يجوز التداوي بالمحرم كالخمر والبول إذا أخبره طبيب مسلم أن فيه شفاء، ولم يجد غيره من المباح ما يقوم مقامه. وقال (٦/٤٩): وذكر في النهاية أن الاستشفاء بالحرام جائز إذا علم أن فيه شفاء، وليس له دواء آخر غيره وعزاه إلى الذخيرة، انتهى. وقال البابرتي في العناية (١٠/٦٧): فإن علم أن فيه شفاء وليس له دواء آخر غيره يجوز له الاستشفاء به. وقال الحصكفي في الدر المختار (١/٢١٠): وقيل: يرخص إذا علم فيه الشفاء ولم يعلم دواء آخر كما رخص الخمر للعطشان وعليه الفتوى، انتهى. وراجع رد المحتار (٥/٢٢٨)۔

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

18 Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1440 / 26 November 2018

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir

This answer was collected from IslamicPortal.co.uk, which is a repository of Islamic Q&A, articles, books, and resources. Various schools write and oversee the answers, including Maulana Yusuf Shabbir, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed, and Mufti Muhammad Tahir. 

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