No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination

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After a delay, the Philippines began expanding its pediatric vaccination program to include kids ages 5 to 11 on Monday, February 7, 2022. According to the Department of Health‘s (DOH) statement, a total of 47 sites in four regions participated in the rollout.

In Metro Manila, 38 sites opened to inoculate the younger population. Health Sec. Francisco Duque led the vaccination in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC). He also clarified a guideline on the pediatric program about parental consent.

No parental consent, no vaccination

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Duque said he had already ordered the removal of the provision on the DOH memo, which stated that the government may give consent if the minor child wants to receive the vaccine, but the parent/guardian refuses. (Read the full DOH memorandum here

No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting PHOTO BY screenshot from department of health, department memorandum no. 2022-0041

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This provision is among being questioned in the petition filed by two parents asking a Quezon City court to stop the vaccination of children ages 5 to 11.

But in a press briefing, Duque clarified and assured parents, “Ang mananaig po ang consent, parental consent. Malinaw po ‘yan. Hindi po pwedeng ang estado ang magbibigay ng pahintulot kung pwede bang bakunahan o hindi ang mga bata edad 5 to 11 o in fact even from 12 to 17 and also for 4 years or below. The parental consent is absolute.

Day 1 of COVID-19 vaccination for kids

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The country’s health and COVID-19 task force authorities maintained that the reformulated Pfizer vaccine is safe to be administered to the younger population. The reformulated vaccine contains lower dosages than those given to the adult population. (Read FAQs on pediatric vaccination here and here)

But aside from the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, authorities also made sure to make the program enticing to the kids. During the pilot rollout, various vaccination sites were decorated to be more child-friendly, different gimmicks were also prepared.

From free ice cream and other sweets, mascots, and superhero cosplayers, here‘s a look at how the first day of pediatric vaccination for kids 5 to 11 played out in some vaccination sites:

Philippine Heart Center (Quezon City)

No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting Free ice cream was given to kids who were vaccinated in the Philippine Heart Center. PHOTO BY Facebook/PTV
No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting Also in Philippine Heart Center, children waiting for their turn to be inoculated are given coloring books. A screen playing Disney movies was also set up in the waiting area. PHOTO BY Facebook/PTV

National Children’s Hospital (Quezon City)

No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr.’s niece, was among the vaccinated in the National Children’s Hospital. PHOTO BY Facebook/PTV

SM North EDSA Skydome (Quezon City)

No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting Mascots entertain and encourage kids who are being vaccinated against COVID-19. PHOTO BY facebook/ptv

San Juan City

No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting In San Juan City, cosplayers dressed as superheroes were present to cheer up the children. Elsa was also spotted on the site! PHOTO BY facebook/ptv Cotabato Regional and Medical Center
No Parental Consent, No Vaccination: DOH Clarifies Provision On Pediatric Vaccination
© Provided by Smart Parenting Kids were treated with Kiddie Meals upon vaccination in the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center. PHOTO BY Facebook/Department of Health (Philippines)

DOH scheduled the vaccination of kids 5 to 11 in different parts of the country on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2022.

A study found out that COVID-19 infection increases risk of diabetes among kids. Read more here.

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