MANILA – Getting the COVID-19 vaccine does not invalidate one’s fasting and observance of the Holy month of Ramadan, a health official said Wednesday.
The COVID jab is important to protect not only one’s self but other people as well, said Dr. Bashari Latiph, health minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“Ito ay hindi nakakasira dahil hindi naman ito pang palakas ng katawan," he said in a virtual forum.
"Nagkaroon ng religious guidance or advisory, at ang kaniyang sinabi, hindi naman ito nakakasira o nai-invalidate niya ang taong nago-observe ng fasting o naga-ayuno during the time of Ramadan kung siya ay magpaturok ng anumang vaccine,” he added.
(It does not violate the observance of Ramadan because it is not for enhancement. There was a religious guidance or advisory saying it does not invalidate the observance of fasting during Ramadan.)
A religious guideline dated March 6 from the Office of the Mufti and Executive Director said it “sees that vaccine for healing and preventing measure, in general, is lawful (Halal) on the basis of the verse of the Glorious Quran.”
Sinovac and Astrazeneca, the only 2 vaccine brands currently being used in the country, are Halal, based on studies made by Islamic scholars, Latiph said.
“Kahit ibang bansa, tinatanggap naman ito nang walang problema dahil hindi ito haram," he said.
(These are accepted in other countries because there's no problem, it's not haram.)
All vaccines allocated for BARMM have been distributed to the different provinces in the region, while 12,337 have been vaccinated so far, Latiph said.
There were 5,336 jabs allocated for those who will be going to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage and 1,000 have availed so far, he added.
Health officials encourage the public to receive COVID jabs for the country to move toward achieving herd immunity as the pandemic worsens in some parts of the world.
The Philippines has administered 1.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Sunday. It aims to inoculate a third of its population or 50 to 70 million by the end of the year to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus.
The country is expecting an "accelerated delivery" of COVID-19 vaccines beginning next month even as global production of the jabs is seen to stabilize only in June, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. earlier said.