Members of the Muslim community across the city have called for an alternative to the flu vaccine, as it contains porcine gelatine.
The Muslim faith prevents worshippers from consuming products from pigs.
In Luton, Public Health England (PHE) worked with Luton Council of Mosques to deliver a study regarding uptake of a non-pork based flu vaccine. After hearing of this study, local parents said there is a case for the city to be included.
Resident Shaisa Malik said: “I feel strongly about this as my daughter will not be immunised as no alternative is being offered. It is disappointing our health service has not provided a Halal alternative.”
Because of this problem, children of the Muslim and Jewish population are missing out on the free innoculations that all primary school children are being given for the first time.
When contacted PHE said an alternative which is not NHS funded would not be rolled out as an option.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at PHE said: “Although some faith groups accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products we understand some Muslim families feel uncomfortable about it being in the nasal spray. Parents should seek advice from their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.”
The Muslim Council of Great Britain, has advised that the current vaccine can be used if there is no alternative and is considered life saving.
An alternative injection is available if parents are prepared to pay for it.
.gelatine, however, this is not free under the vaccination scheme.