A controversial imam in Australia started a battle against the coronavirus vaccine developed being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. He claimed the vaccine is ‘haram’ – meaning forbidden. He blasted the methodology adopted by AstraZeneca in a video posted on his YouTune channel. He said the companyis making the vaccine using foetal cells of an aborted baby in the 1970s and developed in a laboratory. Religious figures are against Australia’s vaccine deal with AstraZeneca. A senior Catholic archbishop had recently warned he is “deeply troubled” by the deal, saying the potential vaccine uses a fetal cell line that creates an “ethical quandary” for Christians.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher wrote a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlining concerns. It also urged Morrison to pursue other “ethical” vaccine candidates to ensure religious objectors have a choice. Australia earlier this month announced a deal with AstraZeneca to manufacture the “promising” vaccine if it is proven safe and effective, with plans to offer it for free to the entire population. The Oxford vaccine is among a handful globally that have reached Phase 3.