Imee Marcos

Imee decries child vax without parental consent

February 7, 2022 Marlon Purification 130 views

SENATOR Imee Marcos expressed outrage at a Department of Health (DOH) memorandum that enables the government to dismiss parental consent if a child is willing to be vaccinated.

“Government cannot usurp parental authority. Parents have the right to decide on the health and safety of their children,” Marcos fumed.

The controversial memorandum issued January 24 states that the government can act as “parens patriae” — Latin for parent of the nation — when a child wants to be vaccinated but parental consent is denied.

Stated on Page 6 of the memorandum: “In case the parent/guardian refuses to give consent to the vaccination despite the desire and willingness of the minor child to have himself/herself vaccinated, or there are no Persons that may legally exercise parental authority over the child, the State may act as parens patriae and give the necessary consent. Therefore, the proper officer representing the State as parens patriae may sign the consent form. In this regard, the DSWD or its city/municipal counterparts shall serve as the proper office who shall represent the State.”

“The DOH has a lot of explaining to do. This isn’t the first time it committed a gaffe of such magnitude,” Marcos recalled.

In March last year, the senator exposed an administrative order of the DOH that sought to block manufacturers of so-called sin products from purchasing vaccines amid a scarce national supply.

The government announced in December that it had bought some 15 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate children 5 to 11 years old, but logistical problems have moved the start of the vaccination campaign to Monday.

“I hope this push to vaccinate kids is really for their sake and not for the sake of vaccine purchases already made,” Marcos said.

The senator called attention to a recent statement of the World Health Organization (WHO) that urges countries to first achieve a high level of vaccination among high-risk groups before starting to vaccinate children five to 17 years old.

“Let’s prioritize the elderly and not lose sight of fully vaccinating the most vulnerable groups before rushing to vaccinate healthy kids,” Marcos said.