Indonesian Clerics Declare Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine Halal By Reuters

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© Reuters. Medical worker takes a box of Sinovac vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Qingdao

JAKARTA (Reuters) – A COVID-19 vaccine produced by Sinovac Biotech is considered halal, or permissible under Islam, Indonesia’s Ulema Council said on Friday, days before the country begins its inoculation program with the Chinese vaccine. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, has 3 million doses of CoronaVac and plans to use it when it begins its vaccination program on Wednesday, and President Joko Widodo will receive the first injection. Asrorun Niam Sholeh of the council’s fatwa commission told a press conference that the Sinovac CoronaVac was “sacred and halal,” although authorization for its use still depends on the Indonesian Food and Drug Agency (BPOM). . “This could be the information that could calm people, especially Muslims,” ​​Niam said. Indonesia is battling the worst COVID-19 epidemic in Southeast Asia and authorities are relying on a vaccine to help ease the economic and health crises plaguing the country. It confirmed a record daily increase in COVID-19 cases for the third day in a row on Friday, reporting more than 10,000 daily infections for the first time and surpassing the 800,000 mark in cases, among the highest number in Asia. It reported 10,617 new infections on Friday, bringing the total cases to 808,340. It has registered 23,753 deaths. Regulator BPOM has said it is hopeful that emergency use approval for CoronaVac, which is dependent on the results of the vaccine’s trials in Indonesia, will be issued before Wednesday. CoronaVac was 78% effective in a late-stage Brazilian trial with no severe COVID-19 cases, researchers said Thursday.

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