01 October 2015

Muslim children could miss out on a free flu vaccine scheme due to it containing pig gelatin

MUSLIM children could miss out on a free vaccine being rolled out in primary schools – because it contains pig gelatine.

The nasal vaccine is being offered to pupils in Years 1 and 2 across East Staffordshire as part of a drive to help protect them against seasonal flu.

However, the vaccine contains a processed form of gelatine, which is not acceptable in some faith groups.

The gelatine, which is used in a range of many essential medicines, is derived from boiling skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of pigs.

Pork and pig derivatives are a forbidden food to eat in Muslim culture, and with no suitable alternatives, some children could be left out of the scheme.

Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership, which is behind the delivery of the programme, said injectable flu vaccines were available but were 'less effective' and were not being delivered as part of the programme.

Councillor Syed Hussain, who represents the Anglesey Ward on East Staffordshire Borough Council, said that the scheme would not work. [Burton Mail] Read more