Nothing wrong in getting COVID shots during Ramadan, Muslims told
COTABATO CITY—Islamic authorities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said getting vaccines for COVID-19 would not violate fasting observed by Muslims during Ramadan.
Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan when they avoid taking in food and water from daybreak to dusk.
“When it comes to the vaccine on COVID-19, it does not nullify your fast,” said BARMM Grand Mufti Abuhuraira Udasan.
Udasan issued a video advisory on the matter after some Moro groups raised questions about COVID-19 vaccination during Ramadan, which started on April 13. The end of fasting will either be on May 11 or May 12.
Udasan, however, said having dextrose injection would nullify the fast.
“It’s not just a vaccine or injection, but [getting dextrose] changes your strength, it replaces your food intake,” explained Udasan.
In Lanao del Sur, provincial health authorities are ramping up efforts to inoculate some 2,600 Maranaos who intend to join the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca in the third week of June.
Dr. Alinader Minalang, Lanao del Sur health chief, said they administered China-made CoronaVac vaccine to the pilgrims, which comes in two doses. Each dose will need to be administered 28 days apart.
As of April 22, only 749 pilgrims had been vaccinated.
The Provincial Health Office has set aside 5,226 doses of CoronaVac from the Department of Health for 2,613 pilgrims but only 2,534 have registered to be vaccinated.
Minalang said many pilgrims informed them that they would get the shots after Ramadan.
In Lanao del Norte, Dr. Marujita Isabel Lao-Opamen, acting provincial health director, said they set a special schedule for the inoculation of pilgrims in Kolambugan and Baloi towns, which would also cover those from Lanao del Sur.Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno asked the public’s understanding as the local government needed to prioritize hajj pilgrims in the vaccination drive.
“That is a matter of faith. Our Muslim brothers and sisters would do everything to go on that pilgrimage. Let us respect that,” Moreno said.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has required pilgrims to be vaccinated before they are allowed to enter Mecca.
—EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ AND RICHEL V. UMEL
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