ROME: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine will not interrupt fasting during Ramadan, which is scheduled to start in the middle of April, Grand Mufti of Tunisia Othman Battikh said.
A statement from the office of Al-Iftaa, the highest religious authority of Tunisia, urged all Tunisians to continue to participate in the national vaccination campaign during Ramadan.
He told Italian news agency ANSA that the vaccine should not be considered as a “nutritional product,” and has “nothing to do neither with digestion nor with the fact of drinking or eating.” He said that because of this, the vaccine was compatible with fasting.
The grand mufti highlighted that “getting vaccinated in order to protect oneself and others is a religious and national duty.”
In mid-March, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, said that receiving the COVID-19 inoculation would not invalidate the fast as it “is not considered as food and drink. The vaccine is administered intramuscularly, so it does not invalidate the fast.”
According to the Tunisian Health Ministry, over 50,000 people have received their first vaccine dose since March 13, when the national vaccination campaign started.
Some 251,169 COVID-19 cases and 8,760 deaths have been reported in Tunisia since the outbreak of the pandemic.