Fluenz nasal vaccination and Porcine Gelatine
Your Questions answered?
Why is the Fluenz nasal spray being used?
The flu virus enters the body through the nose and mouth. From there it is transmitted to the throat and upper airways where it rapidly replicates and goes on to cause the symptoms of flu. Because Fluenz® also enters the body through the nose it mimics the flu virus and results in a better immune response than an injected vaccine.
But doesn’t Fluenz contain ingredients that come from pork?
The nasal flu vaccine does contain gelatine that comes from pork as one of its additives. Gelatine is commonly used in a range of medicines. The gelatine used in Fluenz® is a highly purified product used to stabilise this live viral vaccine. Many stabilisers were tried out but this gelatine was chosen because it was the best product.
The following statements from representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities may help parents reach a decision about having their child vaccinated:
Rabbi Abraham Adler from the Kashrus and Medicines Information Service, said:
It should be noted that according to Jewish laws, there is no problem with porcine or other animal derived ingredients in non-oral products. This includes vaccines, including those administered via the nose, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments.
In 2001, the World Health Organization consulted with over 100 Muslim scholars and confirmed that the gelatine used in medicines is considered transformed. A summary report on the findings of more than one hundred Islamic legal scholars who met in 1995 to clarify Islamic purity laws states the following:
Transformation which means the conversion of a substance into another substance, different in characteristics, changes substances that are judicially impure into pure substances, and changes substances that are prohibited into lawful and permissible substances.