Vaccines Free Of Pork Gelatine

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PETALING JAYA: The 10 vaccines meant for the national immunisation schedule issued by the Health Ministry are free from pork gelatine, a family medicine specialist confirms.

Dr Suhazeli Abdullah said the hydrolysed gelatine used as a stabiliser in the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines was from bovine source.

“The Islamic authorities of vaccine producing countries and international ulamaks have emphasised on the need to use vaccine,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Dr Suhazeli expressed concern over rumours among village folk that the vaccines contain pork substance.

He explained that the polio vaccine was made in laboratories with tight protocols and adhered to Good Manufacturing Practice and ISO standards.

The growing of the virus was specifically done in special nursery medium – the vero cell which is the cell of monkey’s kidneys – because it provides the best medium for polio virus growth, he said in another post on his social website.

Dr Suhazeli said the polio virus was difficult to grow unlike other germs which could be grown in eggs and jelly.

“There are polio vaccines that use porcine cell (Imovax Polio brand) but it is not used in the Health Ministry’s immunisation programme,” he said.

Dr Suhazeli added that there were also guidelines on the enzymes of porcine trypsin used in the process of oral polio vaccine (OPV) as explained by the Fatwa Council of Europe.

“The ministry has moved away from using OPV to inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) by injection since mid last year.

“The IPV did not use porcine trypsin,” he said.

Dr Suhazeli urged the Muslim community not to be confused by the allegations made by those not experts in the field.