It is expected that measles rates will increase in Indonesia after the clergy announced that the measles vaccine contains gelatine extracted from pigs, which makes it a "sin".
The announcement reduced measles vaccination rates in the Southeast Asian country from the recommended rate, from 95% to less than 8%.
Health experts are concerned that Indonesia will suffer from the measles epidemic and that measles can also lead to birth defects if pregnant women are infected by the virus.
Gelatin is added as a stabilizer for many vaccines and drugs to prevent damage during transport. Until recently, Indonesia was one of the world's most registered measles countries, according to the World Health Organization, and although it produced its own infection vaccine as part of infant immunization programs, the vaccine was incomplete.
In 2006, the Southeast Asian country adopted a WHO-led plan to eradicate measles and rubella by 2020, but the plan was blocked after the Indonesian Islamic Council of the Ulema declared it "illegal".
Only 6 out of 38 students in a primary school in Sumatra received the measles vaccine: some parents gathered outside the school to make sure their children were not vaccinated, while some said their children had to stay home not to vaccinate. .
With the abolition of parents to vaccinate their children, the Indonesian Ministry of Health has put pressure on the Ulema to issue a "fatwa" to decompose the vaccine in August, but the council has declared "haram" or "sin" because contained jelly extracted from wild boar skin as a stabilizer.
The vaccine also contains trypsin extracted from pigs, which prevents the components of the vaccine from sticking to its glass container during its production.
The Indonesian Islamic Council of Islamic Scholars (UIA) has emphasized that it does not hinder the vaccination campaign, emphasizing that the option is for parents of children if they wish. But the consequences of the fatwa have already happened: only 68% of the children in the islands around Java have been vaccinated so far, according to the Ministry of Health, and in Aceh, governed by Islamic law, vaccination rates are only 8%.
A spokesperson for the WHO office in the capital Jakarta said that vaccination rates are low in many parts of the country.
The WHO remains positive about the immunization plans of 95% of children in Indonesia against measles and rubella and the expiry date for the vaccine has been extended until December.
source: Daily Mail