Minhab - Position Statement on Astra-Zeneca COVID Vaccine
Q1. Who was involved in the consultation?
Muslim experts in infectious diseases, virology, pharmaceuticals, clinicians, commissioners, public health and bioethicists. This has been shared with scholars from a variety of denominations.
Q2. Any important information to know about this vaccine?
Trial data say it is effective at preventing severe Covid-19 with up to 70% not developing symptomatic disease
Q3. What ingredients does the vaccine contain?
There are NO animal products in this vaccine. It does contain ethanol as an excipient, but at 0.002mg per dose this is much less than found in a slice of bread or a banana for example.
Q4. Does the vaccine contain human embryo cells?
NO. While the key recombinant protein is made in cells descended from human embryonic cells, the original and descended cells are not present in the final vaccine.
Q5. How do we know the vaccine is safe?
It has been reviewed by the MHRA (Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, — the UK independent regulatory body for medicines. Their review indicates that it is safe 8, there are no serious adverse outcomes.
Q6. What are the expected side effects?
Reported side effects are temporary and same as for most vaccinations e.g. injection site pain, fever or aches. There has been a case of Transverse Myelitis (spinal cord inflammation) in the trial, but not definitively due to the vaccine.
Q7. Is the vaccination the solution to COVID.19?
No. It’s a part of the solution, but we will still need social distancing, hand washing & use masks for medium term.
Q8. Why is this Particularly important to the Muslim community?
Many UK Muslims are from ethnic minorities who are at more risk from Cowd-19 complications / death and also tend to be more vaccine hesitant. We need a clear and unified message corning from Muslim leaders & scientists.
Q9. Are there any concerns?
We advocate for greater diversity, vaccine trials & transparency in publishing of all trial data or analysis from them. However, with the evidence we have the Oxford AZ Vaccine is safe and effective to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Q10. Any important disclaimer?
This is a recommendation, but please consult with healthcare professionals and scholars you trust before deciding.