Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Halal meningitis vaccine available worldwide

For many years, the fully Halal meningitis vaccine was a dream for the Muslim world but now it is a reality. The long waited Halal meningitis vaccine named ‘Menveo’ is now available worldwide. Many Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia have approved it and many have instructed to replace the previously used one with this Halal vaccine.
According to the available information meningitis vaccine earlier produced, contained materials of bovine or porcine origin. Due to this reason Muslims had been complaining against those vaccines and urging for producing completely Halal vaccine from Halal ingredients. Due to this demand from the Muslim world an ‘apparently Halal’ vaccine was produced named Mencevax. It is alleged that Mencevex even used porcine ingredients at manufacturing stage but the finished product could be made porcine free with the blessings of latest scientific technologies. Nevertheless, to say that Bangladesh is still using this ‘apparently Halal’ vaccine though completely Halal vaccine is available in the market. However, the government is under pressure to use Halal vaccine especially for the hajj pilgrims.
Menveo vaccine is a conjugate vaccine but the previous one was polysaccharide vaccine that has lots of limitations. It is not effective for infants; it cannot immune memory and cannot ensure prolonged duration of protection. But Menveo vaccine is very much effective for the aforementioned conditions. It not only protects but also prevents the carrier of the germs to spread, among others. The Halal vaccine has a boosting effect, and in repeated use it doesn’t lose power rather intensifies it.
Therefore, saving life is of foremost important for the host country. Besides, the hajis might not be infected and become a carrier of such communicable diseases is also a great concern. And when there is an issue for haram and Halal, the Muslims will accept the Halal one- no doubt. So, it is expected that the government will also take necessary steps to provide Halal conjugate vaccine for this year’s hajj pilgrims.No other mass gathering can compare, either in scale or in regularity. Communicable disease outbreaks of various infectious diseases have been reported repeatedly during and following the hajj. Therefore, to protect the pilgrims from communicable diseases the Saudi government has made it mandatory for the pilgrims to take meningitis vaccine before arriving at the holy place. During Hajj, carrier rates for meningococcal disease rise to a level as high as 80% due to intense overcrowding, high humidity and dense air pollution . It should also be mentioned here that the meningitis belt of Sub-saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east has the highest rates of the disease.

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