Due to the pandemic outbreak, many conspirations and misinformation circulating around in Indonesia. We feel it is important to provide the right information to diverse groups of people about the safety of the vaccine. Because Indonesia is one of the countries with most Muslim population in the world, halal is an important aspect in the daily lives of many people in the country. We are convinced that by linking halal to the safety of the vaccine, it will pique the interest of individuals from diverse backgrounds. We also aim to help the global health movement in its efforts to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by sharing accurate information and instilling the public trust in the vaccine. As a result, we decided to hold a one-of-a-kind initiative event, coinciding with the fact that we are one of the iGEM teams from Indonesia, focusing on discussing the halal and safety aspects of the vaccine, as well as mentioning synthetic biology since vaccine is one of the synthetic biology products. We hosted a webinar on the 'Halal Aspects of Synthetic Biology,' and the speakers were all credible, knowledgeable professionals in the area.
Dr. Ir. Hj. Mulyorini R. Hilwan, M. Sc., is the advisor in the The Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics Indonesian Ulema Council (LPPOM MUI), an Indonesia’s top Islamic scholars’ body which has the authority on regulating the halal of every consumer’s product in Indonesia. We invited Dr. Mulyorini as one of the speakers as we believe that her expertise and knowledge would answer the questions of those who are still unsure about the vaccine's halal and safety. In addition, we invited Nurul Izzati, M. Sc., one of the founders of Indonesia's synthetic biology organization, synbio.id, to discuss the applications of synthetic biology in our daily lives, such as vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and other food products, in order to raise synthetic biology awareness among the participants.
Following the speaker's presentation of the materials, we encourage open dialogue and discussion among the participants. The questions posed by the audience, as well as the responses given by the speakers, are intriguing and offer up new perspectives. After the event, we surveyed the participants for feedback and discovered that the event raised their awareness of the safety and halal status of the vaccine, as well as synthetic biology products in their daily lives. We also made a video covering the regulations around synthetic biology with the iGEM NCKU Tainan. We also talked about both of our projects, with iGEM NCKU Tainan developing an interesting project, Mentaur, to alleviate depressive symptoms during chronic stress in the form of Taiwanese signature bubble tea. We also raised awareness for our project, the CHOP system. We uploaded the video on our IGTV on our Instagram page where we hope many people will have at least a little bit of awareness to synthetic biology and examples of synthetic biology projects.