Does the Covid-19 vaccine break a fast?

There has been some concern recently in the Muslim community over whether getting the Covid-19 vaccine while fasting during the holy month of Ramadan would break the fast.

According to Islamic Society of North America’s executive director, Basharat Saleem, multiple Islamic law scholars and Muslim community leaders such as Imams have assured that taking the vaccine will not break a fast.

When fasting, a Muslim is not allowed to have food, fluids or medicines through open passages, i.e. the mouth or nose. The Covid-19 vaccine is injected intramuscularly.

The National Muslim Task Force on Covid-19 announced that a shot ­ will not invalidate the fast because it has no nutritional value and it is injected into the muscle – a ruling that in the past has covered flu shots and other vaccinations.

In addition, a fatwa was issued by the Grand Mufti and Head of the Fatwa Department at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, stating that taking the Covid-19 vaccine will not break a Muslim’s fast during Ramadan as it is administered through the muscle of the arm from where it spreads into the body, and does not reach the stomach from the mouth.

Therefore, scholars agree that it is similar to all non-nutritious intramuscular and intravenous needles that a fasting person is permitted to take.

In fact, it is advisable to take the vaccine while fasting as the immune response is said to be twice as effective during this time.

Individuals should not delay their Covid-19 vaccinations on the account of Ramadan, the British Islamic Medical Association said.