Pimentel: Adult or child vaccinations should not be mandatory

Senator Aquilino Pimentel III on Monday, January 7 said adult or child vaccinations should not be mandatory.

Since COVID-19 vaccinations are still considered experimental or under emergency use authorization (EUA), Pimentel said inoculating people, particularly children, without their parents’s consent, should not be made mandatory.

Pimentel, a former Senate President, issued the statement following a memorandum of the Department of Health (DOH) last month that the government should make a decision when parents refuse to give their consent although their under-aged children agree to be vaccinated.

This triggered the filling by parents of a petition before a Quezon City court to stop the vaccination of five-to-11 year old children. They claimed the memorandum constitutes grave abuse of discretion and is unconstitutional.

Pimentel also that, based on data released by the government, there is no need to panic on COVID-19 and to set aside the dignity and rights of citizens to decide whether to get vaccinated or not.

The report stated that three percent of the Philippine population was infected with COVID-19 and there was a 1.5 percent mortality rate.

Pimentel said the 1.5 percent mortality rate might be lower because of underreporting of COVID-19 infections and over reporting of the death rate.

Government data show that the Omicron variant causes milder effects although the infection rate is faster.