Jewish and Muslim patients can be reassured that although the new Fluenz vaccine contains pork gelatine, faith groups have certified it as “acceptable”.
After a consultation with over 100 Muslim scholars the World Health Organization certified Fluenz as Halal, stating that there is “no religious reason” not to receive the vaccination.
And 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.”
Fluenz will be used for the annual flu vaccination of two and three year olds from this year.
And a number of small pilot studies are offering the vaccine to 4-10 year olds. However, parents at one study site in Leicestershire criticised health officials for not including porcine gelatine in the ingredients.
Public Health England (PHE) strongly recommends that people immunise their children against the flu virus.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE said: “This large programme has potential to protect children against the severe complications of flu and to reduce spread to more vulnerable people such as young infants, pregnant women and those with underlying medical conditions.”