In an effort to allay as many fears and concerns as possible, the manufacturers of several coronavirus vaccines have announced that no pork products have been used in their products, and that the vaccine is therefore kosher.
Many vaccines for other diseases use or once used pork gelatin as a stabilizer, and several companies have switched to other, non-pork stabilizers in order to reassure kosher and Halal consumers.
Among the companies to have made such an announcement regarding their coronavirus products are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna, all of which have contracts to supply the Israeli government with vaccines, according to the Associated Press. The Chinese pharmaceutical companies SinoPharm and Sinovac did not respond to AP’s inquiry on the matter.
However, Rabbi David Stav of the Tzohar rabbinical organization told AP that such an assurance was actually unnecessary, since an injected product (as opposed to one ingested via the mouth) did not have to be kosher according to the Torah’s laws. “According to Jewish law, the prohibition on consuming pork or using it only applies when the pork is used in the ‘normal manner,’” he said. “If the substance is injected rather than eaten, there is no prohibition and thus no issue, and this is especially the case when we are concerned about preventing disease.”