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Questions about vaccine content and cultural suitability


What’s in the vaccine?

None of the available Covid-19 vaccines contain any animal or human products within their ingredients. This means they are fully suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

A detailed review of each of the Covid-19 vaccines and their ingredients has been provided by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and can be found at the below links:

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine information is available here

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information is available here

Moderna vaccine information is available here


Does the vaccine contain any 'live' virus?

No. None of the authorised COVID-19 vaccines or vaccines currently in development contain the live virus. The vaccines work by training the body's immune system to fight the covid-19 virus. This means that although it can sometimes produce slight side effects (most commonly a headache or sore arm), a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.


Is the vaccine suitable for Muslims?

The Covid-19 vaccines are all safe, effective and suitable for Muslims to have. The vaccines do not contain any animal products, although the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine contains a very small amount of alcohol (2 mg of ethanol per dose of 0.5 ml).

However this amount of ethanol is negligible - similar amounts are found in foods such as bread - and the vaccine has been fully endorsed by the British Islamic Medical Association.

The British Islamic Medical Association have produced a helpful guide for the Muslim community which can be found here

In Liverpool, many local Muslim community leaders have been working alongside the NHS as volunteers, right at the forefront of the vaccination efforts.

We are extremely grateful to the Abdullah Quilliam Mosque for fully supporting the NHS administering the vaccination for the Muslim community, and also for offering use of the Mosque as a 'pop-up' vaccination centre.


Can Muslims still have the vaccine during Ramadan?

Taking the Covid-19 vaccination does not invalidate the fast, according to Islamic scholars. This means that Muslims do not need to delay having their vaccination on account of Ramadan.

Most people feel well, or have only very mild flu-like symptoms for a short time after having the vaccine, which means they can continue their fast. However, it will be important to drink plenty when you can, and to rest during the day.

More information & advice about this can be found from the British Islamic Medical Association at: