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‘No parental consent no vaccination’

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George Jobe

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has emphasised that health workers should administer Covid vaccines to children after getting consent from parents or guardians.

This follows reports that some schools in the country are sending children to vaccination centres without guardians’ consent.

In January 2022, the ministry started administering Pfizer Covid vaccine to children aged between 12 and 17 years in the country.

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MoH spokesperson Adrian Chikumbe said it was the government’s policy that healthcare workers seek guardians’ consent when attending to children.

“We, as a ministry, believe in following order in our business. The issue of children vaccination is one thing that needs a lot of awareness. We already issued a statement on things that have to be followed before children can receive Covid vaccines.

“It is sad to note that some schools are sending children to [vaccination centres to] receive vaccines without consent. We condemn this and they have to stop doing that immediately,” Chikumbe said.

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Malawi Health Equity Network Executive Director George Jobe said it was important that schools should have books where parents can sign as consent for their children to get vaccinated.

“The issue of vaccines is very sensitive. What if the child who gets vaccinated without parents’ consent reacts negatively to the vaccines? These are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves before we give children Covid vaccines,” Jobe said.

Jobe also asked the government to intensify public awareness on the issue for the exercise to be successful.

On February 1 2022, MoH launched the Covid Vaccination Express 2 Campaign.

The campaign is about taking vaccines to where people are, including markets, workplaces and places of worship.

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