Pork by product in swine flu vaccine
Updated: Thursday, 15 Oct 2009, 7:27 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 15 Oct 2009, 5:34 PM EDT
* By TOM JOHNSON | FOX 35 News
FOX 35 has discovered that the H1N1, swine flu vaccine contains an ingredient that raises questions whether its use is permissible under certain religious, dietary laws. The Jewish, Muslim and Seventh-Day Adventist faiths all forbid members from consuming pork. The ban is based on scripture.
FOX 35 found that the swine flu mist and injectable vaccine both contain something called hydrolyzed porcine gelatin. The Centers for Disease Control confirms that the ingredient is a pork by-product used to promote temperature stability… and allow for refrigerated storage.
Rabbi David Kay presides over Orlandos Congregation Ohev Shalom. Rabbi Kay says the gelatins existence in the swine flu shot is not a problem under Jewish, Kosher laws since it is injected and not swallowed. However, Kay says the issue is a little more complex with the mist. Because the mist is taken through the nasal passages, there is a chance some vaccine could drip into the throat and be consumed. The Rabbi says while it is not technically being eaten, some may have objections due to the presence of the hydrolyzed porcine gelatin. Kay further says that when the preservation of human life is at issue, Kosher laws do not apply anyway and this would seem to be the case with the vaccine.
The Florida Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists tells FOX 35 they do not consider receiving the vaccine in any form to violate restrictions against consuming pork since it is not eaten. The Orlando based conference also believes the possibility that the vaccine could save a life outweighs any possible objections based on religious doctrine.
FOX 35 also contacted the national headquarters of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. A spokesperson told us by phone that they were unaware of the presence of hydrolyzed porcine gelatin in the swine flu vaccine and will need to investigate further before commenting..
Everyone we spoke with believes that despite the fact that the swine flu vaccine does not technically violate dietary laws, some people will still avoid being inoculated with it based on religious objections.