The month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin throughout the Muslim world in just three weeks (April 12 or 13), raises a particular question regarding vaccines in this coronavirus year, and it has nothing to do with its side effects.
The question is not trivial when it comes to fasting one of the five pillars of the Muslim religion, together with prayer, pilgrimage, profession of faith and almsgiving.
To understand the relationship between a vaccine and fasting, serve this example: in Muslim countries, doctors tend to accommodate the daily doses of drugs to the night hours when food can be ingested, so that during the day, in the hours of fasting, no medicine is administered.
And when the vaccination campaign is at its peak around the world, too in the muslim world, doubts arise about what to do with the injections, since moving it to night hours would pose too many problems.
Medical and religious voices
In Morocco and Saudi Arabia, voices have already emerged calling for the intervention of the authorities to calm doubts, suggesting in some cases that medical experts intervene, and in others that they do so. men of religion.
It was the Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh, who expressed it most clearly last Thursday: “The vaccine is not considered food or drink, it is administered intramuscularly, so it does not invalidate the fast, “said the sheikh, the highest authority in that country to clear up doubts about what is legal and illegal in religious matters.
In Morocco, there have been two doctors who, to questions from the local Medias24 portal, have responded with rscientific bullshit in favor of not disturbing the vaccination campaign, which in the Maghreb country is working in an exemplary way.
“According to the medical-religious consensus, all injections, with the exception of those with nutritional components, are compatible with fasting“Dr. Tayeb Hamdi told the portal.
“Neither vaccines nor injectable medicines break the fast, so the continuation of the vaccination campaign during the month of Ramadan it is not a problem, “said Dr. Said Afif on the same website.
The clarifications of the two doctors are not superfluous, since the vaccination campaign currently operates in Morocco only during daylight hours, with a logistical deployment that involves medical, police and civil protection teams, in addition to the opening of “ad hoc” premises – sports centers, schools and others – for its realization.
Moving all this human and material infrastructure to night hours would imply a great logistical effort, in addition to breaking the strict movement restriction measures imposed during night hours.
Already the coronavirus pandemic forced last year to radically change the month of Ramadan in two of its main aspects: the prohibition of travel and family gatherings and the closure of mosques, which prevented the faithful from practicing the Prayer of the Tarawih, a collective prayer that takes place at night, after the first meal and that usually brings together thousands of people.
It was the saddest Ramadan on record, and it is unclear if this year authorities in the different Muslim countries They will lift these restrictions to return to the holy month that collective character that allows the most important moments of the day to be lived together.
The ulama did have to intervene in several countries to remember that Ramadan is above all fasting, and that the COVID-19 epidemic did not prevent the practice of abstinence except in cases where doctors indicated that food deprivation endangered the patient’s life.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.