KUALA LUMPUR - Claims that the vaccines administered to newborn babies are haram because they contain porcine DNA are completely false, says the Health Ministry.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya (pic) shot down claims by Malaysian anti-vaccination groups, saying the Ministry had done comprehensive checks on vaccine samples to ensure it did not have porcine DNA.
"All vaccines given by the Ministry do not contain porcine DNA, and everyone in the Ministry and the hospitals understand this. I don't know how these groups got this perception, maybe they read a book by Jerry D Gray on the matter," he said in response to a question by Dr Che Rosli Che Mat (PAS-Hulu Langat) in Dewan Rakyat on Monday.
Dr Hilmi was referring to the book "Rasulullah is My Doctor" by American ex-soldier and Muslim convert Jerry D Gray, which, among others, claimed modern vaccination was harmful to children.
Dr Che Rosli had asked if there was an anti-vaccination movement, and how much leeway was given to parents who refused to vaccinate their children.
To this, Dr Hilmi said the movement first started on social media, and could have been influenced by similar movements in Western countries.
"However, Malaysians' concern largely revolves around the halal status of a vaccine, and some groups have taken advantage of this to spread rumours that immunisation programs contained haram elements.
"They instead recommended homeopathy and traditional methods that they claim are safer and more effective, saying vaccines contain harmful elements that could threaten the child's safety and health," he said.
Dr Hilmi reassured Malaysians that all vaccines administered to babies and children were thoroughly tested to ensure safety and compliance with health standards, and that the Ministry had always worked to ensure all vaccines were safe for administration.