Is it permissible to administer the Covid-19 vaccination whilst fasting?
Vaccinating the population against Covid-19 via the administration of two injections a few weeks apart is a key part of the strategy adopted in many countries to contain the virus. The question arises whether it is permissible to administer the vaccine whilst fasting. Given the highly infectious nature of the virus, delaying taking the vaccine maybe detrimental to the individual, particularly if they fall into the category of vulnerable people, and it could potentially result in an increase of the rate of transmission, thereby putting others at risk.
Injecting a vaccine into the body is not conventionally considered as ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’ and therefore, does not invalidate the fast. Therefore, administration of the Covid-19 vaccine does not invalidate the fast and an individual can continue to fast after receiving the injection. However, if they feel unwell due to side effects then they fall under the category of those who are ill and do not have to fast.
1. From the verse of the Quran that states, “Eat and drink until the whiteness of dawn becomes clear from the darkness of night then fast until night” , we understand that it is impermissible to eat or drink during fasting hours.
Present-day conventions do not, however, consider taking a vaccine via injection into the body as an instance of “eating” or “drinking.” See https://www.collectiveijtihad.org/blog/fasting-and-medication
2. The Covid-19 vaccine may result in side effects leaving the individual feeling unwell. In this case the general principle stipulated by the Quran exempting those who are ill from fasting applies.