The head teacher of a school in Leicestershire, England has expressed his outrage, saying that he found it “shocking and surprising” that a new flu vaccine being tested in a pilot program conducted by the National Health Service (NHS) would contain pork gelatin as an ingredient.
Gelatin is a protein which is formed by boiling the skin and connective tissue of animals. It is used to keep vaccines stable so they don’t degrade after manufacture. All gelatin used in vaccines is derived from pork.
The teacher, Chris Hassall of Taylor Road Primary, cited cultural sensitivity as the reason for his feelings. Over 650 children at his school are Muslim.
Suleman Nagdi, a representative of The Federation of Muslim Organisations, was also concerned about the lack of communication about the vaccine’s ingredients, especially in light of the fact that there was a recent scandal regarding whether pork was being used in halal burgers served at another Leicester county school.
According to a report from the BBC, the school district has apologized to parents for not informing about the fact that the flu vaccine contained gelatin.
Written by: Nancy Schimelpfening