Gelatine in vaccines
Gelatine derived from pigs is used in some live vaccines as a stabiliser to protect live viruses against the effects of temperature.
The gelatine in vaccines is highly purified and hydrolysed (broken down by water), so it is different from the natural gelatine used in foods.
Very sensitive scientific tests have shown that no DNA from pigs can be detected in the nasal flu vaccine.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) spoke to the Kashrut and Medicines Information Service, who said: ‘It should be noted that according to Jewish laws, there is no problem with porcine or other animal-derived ingredients in non-oral products. This includes vaccines, including those administered via the nose, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments.’
Some Muslim leaders have also ruled that the use of gelatine in vaccines does not break religious dietary laws, because it is highly purified, and it is injected or inhaled rather than eaten.