Pork-free vaccine wins cheers from some Hajj pilgrims

Pork-free vaccine wins cheers from some Hajj pilgrims
By Omar Sacirbey| Religion News Service, Published: October 18

The nearly 3 million Muslims who will make next week’s annual hajj pilgrimage to the sacred Saudi Arabian city of Mecca are required to be vaccinated against meningitis.

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis claims to have developed, in 2010, the first anti-meningitis vaccine without pork, which Muslims are forbidden to consume under Islamic law. Many religious authorities have already certified the Menveo vaccine as “halal,” or permitted under Islamic law.

Not all Muslims, however, believe the vaccine is truly halal.

Anti-meningitis vaccine was developed in the 1930s, and pork derivatives were and remain an important part of the compound today. But some skeptics say that while Novartis’ final product is pork-free, it still uses pork in the manufacturing process, making it ineligible for halal certification.

Novartis, which made $142 million from Menveo in 2011, did not reply to requests for comment…


Washington Post
Accessed 20 October 2012