Practices need to take care when immunising Muslim patients against flu claims NHS England
The NHS has concerns than some muslim patients may consider the Fluenz vaccine to be forbidden as it a pork-derived product.
Guidelines are being given to CCG clinical leads that are to be distribute among practitioners.
In a recent bulletin to CCGs, NHS England said: “We also acknowledge that some groups within the British Muslim community may consider the porcine product to be forbidden. In this circumstance, the individual would be unable to accept many pharmaceutical products unless there was no suitable alternative and/or the product was considered life-saving.’
The Fluenz vaccine is being offered to two to four-year-olds to protect against severe complications of flu. The Department of Health (DH) and Public Health England (PHE) have stated that there is no suitable alternative to Fluenz.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said: ‘We strongly recommend that anyone whose child is offered immunisation accepts this opportunity to give their child the best protection possible against the flu virus.’
Jewish groups have said that the vaccine is acceptable.
Rabbi Abraham Adler from the Kashrus and Medicines Information Service said: ‘According to Jewish laws, there is no problem with porcine or other animal derived ingredients in non-oral products.
"This includes vaccines, including those administered via the nose, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments.’