Controversy around COVID-19 vaccine in Australia! Religious groups boycott the Oxford vaccine!
The heat to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is increasing. But simultaneously, there is also a parallel group emerging who are against the vaccine and will not accept it. Firstly, there are those who are worried about the safety of the said vaccine. Additionally, there are some anti-vaccination doctors who are using this to gain some publicity. And now, the latest to join this anti-COVID-19 vaccine is a group of clerics from Australia. The controversy revolves around its origin. They have said that the vaccine is made from foetal cells and hence forbidden in their religion!!!
The controversy around Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine
Australia has signed with AstraZeneca company for the manufacture and distribution of the vaccine for Australians. But there is an anti-COVID-19 vaccine wave erupting in that nation. Some Muslim clerics have started propagating the notion that the vaccine is haram-forbidden in their religion. Sufyaan Khalifa, an imam in Australia has told his Muslim brothers to not accept the vaccine developed by Oxford University.
Imam Sufyaan uploaded a video on his YouTube channel in which he claimed that the method used to make the vaccine is not ethical. He said that the vaccine used fetal cells of an aborted baby in the 1970s to develop it.
More on this new controversy
In the video, Sufyaan blasted the country and company and used some harsh words to assert to his Muslim friends that the vaccine is haram.
“Shame on some Muslim bodies justifying the use of the vaccine. Shame on any imam who did sign this fatwah,”
He is part of the growing voice in Australia who are against the country’s deal with the company for the vaccine. Prior to this, a senior Catholic archbishop has also recently raised this concern. He had said that the potential vaccine uses fetal cells. The archbishop added that all this has deeply hurt him and he did not approve of Christians taking the vaccine. He said that it is unethical.
The reply from the country PM
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher had even written a letter to the PM Scott Morrison about these concerns. Anglican and Greek Orthodox religious leaders also signed this letter. The letter also urged the PM to also consider some other alternatives to this vaccine so that people have choices and can decide which they want. Subsequently, Sufyaan who is from Perth used this letter to provoke his Muslim brothers to not accept the vaccine.
“The Catholics have stood up against this clearly because they know it’s haram, it’s unlawful. But you stand with the government instead,”
Australia plans to offer the vaccine free to its people. The government said that it respects the religious sentiments of its people. A government spokesperson said:
“We are investing in research and technology that we hope will produce a range of vaccines that will be suitable for as many Australians as possible.”
Additionally, the other vaccine candidate is the University of Queensland’s vaccine. The government has given it Aus $5 million funding. But it is still in phase 1 while Oxford vaccine is already in Phase 3 trials.