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Indonesia's Islamic body deems Sinovac vaccine 'holy and halal'

Decision gives boost to country's vaccination program starting Wednesday

Visitors arrive at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta on Jan. 1. The country's top Islamic body has deemed China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines permissible under Islamic law.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesian Ulema Council, the country's top Islamic body, has deemed China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines permissible under Islamic law, giving a boost to the government as it prepares to start a mass vaccination program next week.

The council, known as MUI, announced on Friday that the vaccines developed by China's Sinovac Biotech are "holy and halal" after a meeting of its Halal Certification Commission. The decision comes on the same day as the archipelago nation registered its highest ever daily increase in COVID-19 cases, and could prove to be an important step in a country where religion has clashed with vaccination attempts in the past due to jabs often containing porcine content.

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