Ignore anti-vaccine preachers, Muslims told

Harussani-Zakaria-vaccinePETALING JAYA: Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria has urged Muslims to ignore preachers who speak against inoculation against diseases.

Speaking to FMT, he said parents had a religious obligation to get their children inoculated even if the vaccines were tainted with impurities, as some preachers have claimed.

“People should listen to what we the religious authorities have decided,” he said.

“We have even issued a fatwa on this matter.

“We have stated previously that it is necessary for children to be vaccinated regardless of whether the vaccines contain impurities.”

He added that people should ignore dubious information shared on social media against immunisation.

He said parents must ensure that their children are given the necessary injections to prevent them from contracting tuberculosis, measles, diphtheria and other diseases.

In a statement in April last year, Harussani said those who rejected the vaccinations were going against God’s injunctions.

Early this week, the health ministry said that the majority of parents who refused vaccination for their children in 2016 were from Perak, Terengganu and Pahang.

“They are unsure if the vaccines are halal or haram,” said Rozita Rahma, the assistant director of the ministry’s family health development division.

“Other than questioning whether there is porcine DNA in the vaccines, they fear that they contain prohibited substances or chemicals such as mercury.”

A study by the ministry found that Perak topped the list with 285 objections, followed by Terengganu (233), Pahang (178), Kedah (172) and Selangor (151).

It found that parents cited either religious reasons or fear of the risk of autism.

Some of the apprehension stemmed from information disseminated over the internet by groups associated with the anti-vaccine movement, often referred to as anti-vaxxers.

During the first six months of this year, the ministry recorded more than 800 cases of parents refusing vaccinations for their children.

Meanwhile, Selangor mufti Tamyes Abdul Wahid urged the health ministry to educate the public on the contents of the vaccines to curb irrational fears.

“The ministry should explain to the public what the contents of the vaccines are, as well as what the consequences would be if they refused to get their children immunised,” he said.

He said his religious position was that Muslims had the option to accept or reject vaccination.

Parents refuse vaccines fearing they cause autism and are haram