Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Religious Affairs Ministry has instructed regional Religious Affairs Offices to inform Muslims about the Indonesian Ulema Council’s (MUI’s) fatwa declaring that vaccination does not invalidate fasting, according to a ministry official.

"The COVID-19 vaccine administered through intermuscular injection does not invalidate fasting. It is allowed as long as it does not bring harm," the ministry's director general of Islamic community guidance, Kamaruddin Amin, said in a statement received here on Tuesday.

The ministry has instructed ministry offices in provinces, districts, and cities, as well as Religious Affairs Offices in all sub-districts to inform Muslims about the MUI fatwa allowing COVID-19 vaccination while fasting, he said.

The director general informed that the MUI Fatwa No. 13 of 2021 on COVID-19 Vaccination while Fasting was issued on March 16, 2021, and signed by MUI chairperson Miftachul Akhyar and secretary general Amirsyah Tambunan.

Residents must continue supporting the government's COVID-19 vaccination program to achieve national herd immunity and reduce the death rate due to the disease, he said.

"The MUI Fatwa also instructs Indonesian Muslims to participate in the government's COVID-19 vaccination program to bolster efforts for achieving herd immunity and bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end," Amin added.

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Earlier, the government announced that a booster vaccine will be required for homecoming trips during Eid al-Fitr, with residents who have already received the vaccine booster free to travel without COVID-19 test certificates.

Residents who have received only their first vaccine dose are required to provide a COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained at least three days before travel, while residents who have received their second vaccine dose need to provide the results of either a COVID-19 PCR test or a COVID-19 antigen test performed one day before travel.

"Those who have received their COVID-19 booster vaccine are free to travel without further COVID-19 testing," Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.

High immunity among residents is one factor that was considered by the government while allowing residents to join the homecoming exodus during this year's Eid period.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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