Harm to fertility, haram in Islam: Muslims fearing measles vaccines, AMU report clears doubt

The state health department in Mumbai has decided to hold a series of discussions with the prominent Muslim clerics in the city to disperse any misconceptions about the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine and increase the rate of vaccination.

According to health department officials, the move addresses ignorance and hesitancy for vaccines causing low routine vaccination coverage against measles in the community.

The infection outbreak has largely affected areas such as Mumbai, Malegaon, and Bhiwandi. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), measles is a highly contagious, grave infection caused by a virus of a paramyxovirus family. It is communicated through direct contact and air.

Dr. Pradeep Awate, state surveillance officer with the health department, says that the cases are limited to only a few clusters. His team is holding communication with Muslim clerics and Unani doctors who deeply impact the community.

“We have these interactions in places with low vaccination coverage. Influential people can make a huge contribution by teaching and educating the common public in their community to lessen the ignorance; we are expecting that more numbers are given the doses, and the of the infection will be curtailed,” said Dr. Awate.

Meanwhile, a report by Ramesh Babu (HT’sHT’s bureau chief in Kerala) reveals a prevailing resistance and mistrust among the public in Muslim-dominated areas for vaccines.

The report informs that many are becoming a victim of fake social media campaigns that states vaccines as a creation of the West and will harm the fertility of children when they are adult, and most of them carry pork-based gelatine, making it ”haram” in Islam.

As per the Hindustan Times report, many health experts fear resistance to vaccines may result in the recurrence of some of the eradicated diseases.

Dr. NM Arun, public health and internal medicine expert, claimed that a high rate of immunisation against measles infection is very important, but existing fear in some areas and section of society is affecting the vaccination campaign.

Meanwhile, a report issued by the Department of Paediatrics, Aligarh Muslim University (dated: 08/08/2018) concluded that the content of the MR vaccine produces immunity against measles and rubella disease.

1. It helps to develop immunity against Measles disease.
2. It helps to prevent Rubella infection by strengthening immunity, read the report.

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“It contains nothing that will cause impotence or similar diseases. The vaccine is safe and can be given to any healthy child,” read the report, undersigned by Dr Farzana K Beig, Professor and Chairman, Department of Paediatrics, AMU.

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