Scotland halts flu jabs for thousands of schoolchildren over concerns that nasal spray vaccine contains PORK gelatine

  • Around 100,000 children in Glasgow due to have nasal spray vaccine
  • Programme was to start in 54 schools on Wednesday, but postponed after parents at Glendale Primary in Pollokshields, Glasgow, raised concern
  • A spokesman Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board said spray contains 'a tiny amount of pork gelatine used during the manufacturing process'
  • Parents will now be able to request for their child to receive vaccination by injection rather than spray

By Julie Anne Barnes

Discovery: Traces of pork gelatine have been found in the nasal spray flu vaccine, due to be rolled-out across Glasgow on Wednesday

Discovery: Traces of pork gelatine have been found in the nasal spray flu vaccine, due to be rolled-out across Glasgow on Wednesday (library image)

Scotland's largest immunisation programme has been delayed after Muslim parents raised concerns that the vaccination contained pork gelatine.

The roll-out of the flu vaccine nasal spray pilot programme was due to begin at 54 schools in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Around 100,000 children from primary schools across Scotland are being offered the nasal spray Fluenz.

But NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the roll-out had been postponed until Monday after parents at Glendale Primary in Pollokshields on the south side of Glasgow became aware of the issue.

Now, parents will be able to request that their child receives the vaccination by injection rather than through the nasal spray.

A spokesman for the health board said: ‘These concerns relate to the nasal spray vaccine which contains a tiny amount of gelatine of pork origin used during the manufacturing process.’

Dr Syed Ahmed, consultant in public medicine with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said the health board had written to parents to reassure them.

He said: ‘We have highlighted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) offered guidance in 2001 following a meeting of more than 100 Muslim scholars in Kuwait.

'The scholars agreed to issue advice to Muslims that gelatine of pork origin used in vaccines and other medicines is judicially permissible as the gelatine in the final product is a completely changed substance.


‘However we have also confirmed that any parent who remains concerned about the small amount of gelatine in the nasal spray can request that their child can be given an alternative flu vaccination by injection.’

The Scottish Government is gradually expanding the annual flu vaccination programme to include all children aged two to 17 over the next few years.

Change: Parents will now be able to request that their child received the vaccination by injection rather than through the nasal spray, the Great Glasgow health board has said

Change: Parents will now be able to request for their child to receive the vaccination by injection rather than through the nasal spray, the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board has said

A Scottish Government spokesman said the Immunisation Scotland website provides more information.

She added: ‘Many medicines, including vaccines, used all over the world contain traces of bovine and porcine gelatine.

'Gelatin is an essential ingredient to make the flu nasal spray vaccine effective.

'Many faith groups, including Jewish and Muslim communities, have approved the use of gelatine-containing vaccines.’


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The health of hundreds of thousands are put in jeopardy to appease the irrational fears of a handful of malcontents?

Click to rate

Another example of Islamic pandering by this Christian country all in the name of equality. yet I don't actually see equality for the country as a whole! You have to admire the Muslims, they do succeed in getting their own way.

Click to rate

So because of Muslims again are kicking up a storm, non Muslims again have to wait till something is done so they all can have it at the same time. Why not just give it to Children who don't have a pork problem and let the Muslims sort out a way to have it done and pay for it to be done. Will this be the same problem with children who has vegetarian parents also. Sick to death of change for this one religion, has we never read about other religions kicking up a storm about stuff in the UK, its always the Muslims.

Click to rate

Instead of worrying about whether a nasal spray contains gelatin made from pigs, shouldnt the government be more worried by the genital mutilation of boys in the name of a being that is not even proven to exist

Click to rate

People who dont eat pork are missing out. I think its like people who whip themselves. I mean who can pass by a cafe at 11am and not get pulled in by the aroma of bacon sarnies?

Click to rate

But this is Britain, not Pakistan so why should it be an issue. Surely if these people wanted their lives ruled by this religeon they ought to depart for a country that can accomodate their beliefs. It sounds like British childrens health is considered a lower priority than political correctness.

Click to rate

Agreed: or could wait for the imminent new vaccine produced by those famous Muslim scientists and chemists such , well there's umm and er....what's hisname?

Click to rate

Its not right putting the health of a population at risk because a certain group (that could opt out if they wanted) dont take kindly to one of the ingredients. Also, if some muslim scholars have said that it is ok, why the problem? The gelatin is not gelatin anymore! If they didn't know the name of the ingredients they wouldn't give a damn-wont do any harm!

Click to rate

Never mind it being pork gelatine, whot about all those vegetarians!! Shock horror!! And Louise, if you have the flu- you aren't healthy anymore! It can still be a killer disease!

Click to rate

What's wrong with pork gelatin?

Click to rate

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now