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‘It’s A Non-Issue Whether H1N1 Jabis Halal Or Haram’

News From : DagangHalal.com (24 Mar 2010)

A MALAYSIAN medical expert yesterday quashed worries on the safety of the Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine, saying that there are no problems of whether the jabs were halal (permitted) or haram (prohibited) for Muslims.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Dr Danial Zainal Abidin, managing director of Danial Zainal Consultancy Malaysia Sdn Bhd, said, “If there is any issue (on vaccines), it is the issue of halal and haram. So far, as a doctor, this is really not an issue.”

Dr Danial was in Brunei as a speaker for the National Seminar of Islamic Scholars and Experts on Influenza A (H1N1) at the International Convention Centre, which began yesterday.

Commenting on the concerns that the vaccines may contain elements derived from pigs, he said “the statement is relevant, but there is no need to worry”.

He added that the vaccine elements were derived from the virus, which can be taken from either infected animals or individuals.

“Once Influenza A (H1N1) infected an individual, we can extract the virus from the patient and develop the vaccine. Therefore, it is not derived from pigs,” he said.

Brunei’s Ministry of Health has previously assured the public that the vaccine, which is made from an egg medium, is 100 per cent halal.

“Vaccination programme is being promoted because it is a concept of prevention (from H1N1),” he said, adding that getting vaccinated is something that is important for life and health.

A vaccine is any preparation intended to produce immunity to a disease by stimulating the production of antibodies. Vaccines include, for example, suspensions of killed or weakened microorganisms, or products or derivatives of microorganisms. The most common method of administering vaccines is by injection, but some are given by mouth or nasal spray.

“In Islam, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once said, do not do something that can cause bad things and try to avoid bad things from occurring. It is in a way, a statement of prevention. Vaccination is in line with this concept,” said Dr Danial.

He also touched on the complacent attitude among the public in getting the H1N1 jabs.

“Once we have a pandemic, our biggest concern is that the disease is a killer (disease). When everything subsides, complacency sets in. What we did in Malaysia is continuously giving medical advice, reminding the masses that there could be a second wave coming within months,” Dr Danial added.

He added: “What is most important is to educate them continuously. Complacency is something that is natural, in cases like this. (With many thinking) that everything that is dangerous has subsided. There’s nothing for us to be concerned anymore.”

In January, Health Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Suyoi Hj Osman said Bruneians were among the many people refusing to take the H1N1 shots on account of the pandemic being categorised as “mild”.

Dr Danial said his main objective in speaking at the seminar was “to tell the masses that Islam is a modern religion, a scientific religion that addresses issues that have not been addressed earlier. Islam has addressed these issues 1,400 years ago”.

“I came here to explain that Islam is a scientific religion. Its rules, regulations and laws actually encompass everything, and at a certain period people may not understand its rules and regulation, but they will later on,” he said, adding that Islam is relevant in the modern era.

“That is why I came with the idea of ‘Protaz’ (professor and Ustaz (religious officer)), combining science with Islamic religious knowledge and contemporary knowledge. In the end, we can see the beauty of Islam,” he said.

Islam is a comprehensive religion. Al-Quran is telling us that science and Islam is compatible, and Islam is a religion for everybody.

The three-day seminar is organised by the Ministry of Health and State Mufti Department.

The Brunei Times

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