At Barts Health, WeCare about Staying Healthy during Ramadan. In 2021, Ramadan will take place between the evening of Monday 12 April and end on the evening of Tuesday 11 May, and will be followed by the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr.
The British Islamic Medical Association has reviewed the evidence from Islamic scholars and confirmed that having the vaccine does not invalidate the fast. In addition, the vaccine does not contain pork or other animal, foetal or alcohol products – this reflects the advice of the majority of Islamic scholars that it is permissible.
Senior NHS figures, including our Head of Chaplaincy, Imam Yunus Dudhwala have also stressed the importance of getting the vaccination. The safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk from the virus is by having a vaccine when you are offered it by the NHS.
Muslims should not to delay having their Covid-19 vaccine – first or second dose – during the holy month of Ramadan.
People are also being reminded to continue to take prescribed medicines during Ramadan, but to check with their GP if the doses need to be adjusted or the times they take them changed.
The practice of fasting is an important part of Ramadan. This involves the complete abstinence from food, drink and smoking between dawn and sunset over the month. It’s also a time for self-reflection and evaluation.
The Covid-19 pandemic will mean what is traditionally a communal time when families can come together will again be different this year. With such congregational acts of worship again limited this year to combat the spread of the virus.
It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Those with increased risk of contracting COVID-19 should consider alternative options. These include those who are unwell due to conditions including diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or those who are on medication, pregnant or elderly.
People who have diabetes and want to fast should speak to their GP or diabetes nurse about the safest way to do this. There is an exemption for people with diabetes, especially if they’re on insulin or have any medical complications.
The month will end with the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr which is due to be marked on the Wednesday 12 May, and ending at sundown on Thursday 13 May, subject to the sighting of the new moon. It's traditionally a celebration involving meals, parties, and visiting family and friends and attending special prayers in mosques.
The Covid-19 pandemic and measures such as social distancing will mean that again this year alternative celebrations are being organised.
NHS services are operating both online or over the phone instead of face to face. Please don’t hesitate to contact NHS 111 online or over the phone if you are a member of your family are unwell. It’s important that you don’t delay seeking treatment.
Speak to your clinical team if you or a member of your family is receiving treatment at this time and you have any questions.
The Trust aims to encourage people to fast safely, our Muslim chaplains are on hand to support, educate and advise patients and staff.
If you need to speak to an Imam for specific advice, please contact our Muslim Chaplaincy Service:
The Royal London and St Bartholomew's hospitals on 020 3594 2070
Newham and Whipps Cross hospitals on 020 7363 8053
Ramadan and the vaccine - North East London Health & Care Partnership (eastlondonhcp.nhs.uk) - guidance in a number of different lanaguages.
Advice for people with diabetes on how to stay healthy during Ramadan can be found on the Diabetes UK website. There are also factsheets available in several different languages.