KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) — The Islamic advisory council or the Darul-Ifta in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has deemed the government’s coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination drive as permissible to Islamic believers.
Grand mufti (Islamic jurist) Abulhuraira Udasan, executive director of the BARMM Darul-Ifta, issued the religious guideline backing the government’s inoculation campaign.
“The vaccine for healing and preventive measure, in general, is lawful (halal),” he said in the guideline dated March 6.
However, he noted that health authorities have the final decision whether or not it is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Bangsamoro region received an initial 4,200 doses of CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac Biotech, on March 4.
The Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s top Islamic body, has deemed the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine as halal or permissible.
From the initial COVID-19 vaccines, at least 2,100 health personnel in the BARMM would be vaccinated twice at four weeks interval from the first shot, said Dr. Amirel Usman, the region’s acting health minister.
Maguindanao was allocated 1,400 doses, 972 in Lanao del Sur, 278 in Basilan, 1032 in Sulu and 518 in Tawi-tawi, Usman said.
Cotabato City, which voted inclusion to the BARMM during the plebiscite in 2019, was allocated 2,138 Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines by the Department of Health in Region 12 (DOH-12).
The DOH-12 received its initial allocation of CoronaVac doses from the national government last Friday, March 5.
Usman, who was the first to have been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine in the BARMM during the vaccine rollout in Maguindanao, said the Ministry of Health is targeting to inoculate 70 percent of the population of the Bangsamoro region with COVID-19 vaccines to achieve herd immunity.
The Bangsamoro region has a population of almost 3.8 million based on the 2015 census.
On Wednesday, March 10, 10,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and an additional 4,200 doses of CoronaVac arrived for the Bangsamoro region.
The doses, given by the national government, are allocated for frontline healthcare workers, and other priority groups that include uniformed personnel, senior citizens, and indigent persons.
As of Wednesday, BARMM recorded 4,130 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with seven new cases, data from the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 showed.
Of the total cases, 3,881 have recovered, 93 are active and 156 have died, it added. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)