Article Published @ https://news.cgtn.com/news/794d444d77554464776c6d636a4e6e62684a4856/index.html
Malaysia’s leading e-government service provider has clinched an exclusive deal to cooperate in Phase 3 trials of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine and to eventually distribute it. They also say they will get it certified as halal – that is, permissible according to Islamic law. Religious figures have said halal certification is not necessary for such vaccines, but some think it could help win over vaccine-skeptical Muslims. Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Companies have been scrambling over the rights to distribute Covid-19 vaccines here, with MyEG adding the pledge to get the vaccine — developed by China’s Zhifei — certified as halal by Malaysia’s religious authorities. Religious leaders have said such certification is not needed due to the life-saving nature of vaccines, but some religious and political figures have suggested halal certification could help win the trust of ethnic Malay Muslims.
DR. MUSA MOHD. NORDIN Pediatrician “The group that is particularly hesitant toward the vaccines are the Malays, and especially the Malays in the rural areas because they are influenced by their local ustaz — religious leaders — and many of them are anti-vaccine and use alternative medicines.”
Dr. Musa and others still see no need for halal certification.
AZRUL MOHD. KHALIB Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy “In these emergency situations the luxury of looking at whether or not a pharmaceutical product is halal is something that we cannot afford. It’s a slippery slope. If you insist upon this having that certification then what about the other drugs and pharmaceutical products or medicines that are currently in market?”
Malaysia also has its share of anti-vaxxers.
DR. MUSA MOHD. NORDIN Pediatrician “Though few, they are very noisy and they make a lot of noise, even fake noises, on social media, and these are the ones that may influence those who hesitant. That’s why we – that is the Ministry of Health – the health NGOs, key opinion leaders must be present on social media to neutralize this fake news.”
RIAN MAELZER Kuala Lumpur “Vaccine advocates will be encouraged by a new poll which found that 9 out of 10 Malaysians surveyed not only support vaccinations, they believe vaccinations should be mandatory for serious illnesses such as Covid-19. Rian Maelzer, CGTN, Kuala Lumpur.”