A: Yes, you can and Ramadan Mubarak! Islamic leaders and scholars agree that getting the COVID-19 vaccine does not break the fast for Ramadan.
If you have not yet gotten your primary vaccine series or bivalent booster, you still can! Read on for more answers to your questions about Ramadan and COVID-19 vaccines.
Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims and is observed by fasting from dawn to sunset. Ramadan is about community and getting vaccinated can help protect yourself and others from COVID-19 during gatherings and prayers. Many Islamic leaders, such as the Fiqh Council of North America and Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), say that COVID-19 vaccination during Ramadan does not break the fast. Organizations like the American Muslim Health Professionals Association and the Islamic Medical Association of North America encourage folks not to delay vaccination because of Ramadan.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines halal?
Throughout the Islamic world, scholars have deemed the COVID-19 vaccines halal (or permissible to use). The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not contain pork products or alcohol and were not made using aborted fetal cell lines. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines do not have pork products. They have been manufactured using cell lines from aborted fetal cells grown in a laboratory since the 1970s and do not directly have any fetal tissue or cells. Many Muslim scholars and fiqh councils have determined that the use of these cell lines in this situation is permissible due to the public health risk of the pandemic and benefit of the vaccine. For example, check out the link below from the AMJA Resident Fatwa Committee for one opinion and details.
What if I have symptoms after the COVID-19 vaccine while I’m fasting?
It is permissible to break fast if an illness is likely to worsen during the fast or if recovery is delayed. Symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue are common after the COVID-19 vaccines. If you’re concerned about the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, consider taking the vaccine a few hours before iftar. If symptoms are mild, fasting probably won’t cause any problems. If you have symptoms that are more troublesome, reach out to your primary care clinician to see if breaking fast and treatment might be indicated.
May you have a blessed and happy Ramadan!
Those Nerdy Girls