COVID-19 vaccination allowed during Ramadan, doses allocated for Hajj pilgrims

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 28) — Muslims observing Ramadan can receive their COVID-19 vaccines even while they are fasting, a health official from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said on Wednesday.

"Hindi nito nai-invalidate ang nag-oobserve ng fasting during the time of Ramadan..." Dr. Bashary Latiph, BARMM minister of health, said in a media briefing.

"Hindi naman ito pampalakas ng katawan," he also said. "Itong vaccine is about protecting oneself and protecting other people's lives."

[Translation: This does not invalidate the fasting during Ramadan. This does not give an energy boost. This vaccine is about protecting oneself and protecting other people's lives.]

Latiph said some Muslims are worried about breaking their fast if they get inoculated, so an Islamic advisory was issued for clarification.

Ramadan is the yearly month-long Islamic commemoration of the first revelation to Prophet Mohammad, the founder of Islam, and is one of the religion’s foundations inscribed in their holy book Quran.

During this period, Muslims practice fasting where they refrain from eating or drinking during the day.

Meanwhile, the autonomous region's health minister said 5,300 doses of vaccine have been allocated for pilgrims visiting the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

He said those who will attend the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in July are required by organizers to be fully vaccinated. Around 1,000 have signed up for this, he added.

Over 12,330 people have been inoculated in BARMM using Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines, which are certified halal.