Indonesia's fatwa causes the number of immunizations to decline



The massive vaccination campaign against measles and rubella in Indonesia is in trouble after the Indonesian Ulema Council in Jakarta issued a fatwa stating the vaccine "unclean, "or prohibited under Islamic law, because the pig component is used in its manufacture. The council ruled that parents can still vaccinate their children, given the need to protect public health. But many local scholars and confused parents have decided otherwise: Fatwa has causing a decrease in vaccination rates, from 95% during the first phase of the campaign, last year on the island of Java, to 68% in the second phase, now underway on the remaining islands. Public health experts worry that the world's largest Muslim majority can see new waves measles and more miscarriages and birth defects due to rubella infection during pregnancy.


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