DepEd Chief Flipflops: Vaccination Not Required for Children Attending In-person Classes

In a March 2, 2022 article published in ABS-CBN News, Jaehwa Bernardo reported that The Department of Education (DepEd) is not requiring students attending in-person classes to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the report, on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, Secretary Leonor Briones said her agency could not make vaccination mandatory because parents are the ones who decide if their children would get inoculated against respiratory illness. Briones noted children also have stronger immunity against COVID-19.

Also, Briones added that of the more than 15,000 students that joined the pilot phase of in-person classes last November to December, no one tested positive for the virus. However, Briones reiterated that vaccination is mandatory for teaching and non-teaching personnel attending in-person classes.

Editor’s Note: This announcement from DepEd Secretary Briones sounded confusing and had no coherent direction for students in terms of vaccination status.

There is no amendment to their Department of Education and Department of Health Joint memorandum circular №1[1]https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/DEPED-DOH-JMC-No.-01-s.-2021.pdf released on September 27, 2021, which enabled teachers and employees to participate in pilot school reopenings regardless of their vaccination status. However, on February 2, 2022, DepEd published office order, 00-OSEC-2022–003[2]https://www.teachersclick.com/2022/02/interim-guidelines-on-expansion-of.html, Interim Guidelines on the Expansion of Limited Face to Face classes, and item 1 (g) state: “only vaccinated teachers may participate and vaccinated learners shall be preferred.” What was the basis of this change in policy? [See CDC: Vaccinating teachers not a pre-requisite for safe school reopening]. Did the DepEd find a more compelling argument for the vaccination of teachers, or are they simply following IATF 148-B?

The DepEd office order, may we ask, what gains DepEd and schools will have if students and teachers take the jab despite there being no need? Is vaccination a key to resume classes?

May we reiterate the following points:

  1. Briones was correct to say that children have robust immunity against COVID-19 [see Updated IFR for COVID Confirms 99.9987% Survival for Under-20’s; No Need for Vaccines: Children’s Immune Systems Primed and Ready for SARS-CoV-2; Understanding the immune system of children may be the key to understanding susceptibility to SARS-COV-2].
  2. Children have robust immune systems that can give them durable protection against COVID [see Will Vaccinating Our Children Make Our Society COVID-Safe? ; Should you vaccinate your children?; Thousands of Physicians and Scientists Reach Consensus: Natural Immunity Works, Children Do Not Need COVID Vaccination; Norway Believes Natural Immunity is Better Protection for Children Five to 11 Years].
  3. Countries that opened schools from 2020 onwards have no reports of increased covid cases [see Reopening schools in Denmark did not worsen coronavirus outbreak; Finland schools reopening a success]. Was Sec. Briones surprised that no one tested positive after the pilot phase of face-to-face classes? Because we weren’t. In fact as early as 2020 we were already campaigning for the reopening of classes as that was what was science telling us back then [see American Academy of Pediatrics release recommendations for school re-opening; Expert panel recommends reopening of schools for young children and children with special needs].
  4. Experts have already said that schools should be reopened as soon as possible [see German experts: Schools and day care centers should be reopened; Science says it’s time to open schools; End the lockdown and let our children back to school].
  5. Refusal to open schools is groundless and unscientific; experts have warned us of school closure’s negative effects [see NEDA: 1 year of online learning will result in PHP 11 trillion loss in productivity over the next 40 years; School Closures and Masking Kids are Irrational, Unscientific, and Child abuse; Philippine survey shows school closures have severely impacted poor households; Children learned next to nothing during distance schooling].
  6. Lastly, the Great Barrington Declaration has been proven correct in its recommendations, which authorities were persistently ignored. We could have saved children from mental maladies the lockdown have caused them, if we only allowed them to continue their lives as normal and simply focused resources in protecting the vulnerable [see The Great Barrington Declaration: Life must return to normal for the healthy, the vulnerable must be protected; One Year On, Evidence Shows the Great Barrington Declaration Was Right; See Nicanor Perlas’ briefing paper COVID-19 PANDEMIC: THE PHILIPPINE EXPERIENCE].

May we ask DepEd Secretary Briones, when you believe in the robust immunity of children against COVID-19, why push for the jab? Are you aware that many children are already injured following the “safe and effective vaccine?” Since you know you cannot mandate vaccination, can you perhaps renounce discrimination against the unvaccinated non-teaching and teaching personnel? Ordering them to undergo RT-PCR testing is nothing but bigotry since vaccinated individuals have more viral loads than vaccine-free, not to mention insensitive to the needs of teachers who are already having a hard time making ends meet without spending their salary on additional costs such as RT-PCR. They are also violating RA 11525 because they effectively make vaccines a condition for employment [see Research shows fully vaccinated individuals infected with COVID have become presymptomatic superspreaders; Vaccinated are the Superspreaders].

DepEd is proficient in research; it could have used its competence to investigate safety data of the experimental jabs under emergency use authorization [see PfizerGate Scandal: The Worldwide Cover-up of Data to Hide Covid-19 Vaccines Cause VAIDS ; Worldwide data from 185 nations prove that the highest death rates are in the most vaccinated countries; we are now in a pandemic of the vaccinated; Israeli study concludes vaccines have failed to prevent spread of COVID; WHO’s VigiAccess Shows More than Two Million Adverse Events Following COVID Vaccination; VigiAccess Data Shows COVID Vaccines More Dangerous than Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine; Why Can’t COVID Vaccines Create Herd Immunity?].

Before signing the waiver, parents should know that they should be adequately informed consent, including the potential side effects; this way, they will have sound decisions and grasp of what to expect once they allow their children to take the experimental gene therapy [see FDA knew COVID vaccines would lead to severe adverse events, sanitized info was given to people to prevent vaccine-hesitancy; Without informed consent, COVID vaccines are illegal; Open letter to pediatricians and parents includes more than 1,000 references for true informed consent on COVID vaccination. Also, see Vaccine-injured Speak Out: DO NOT TAKE THE VACCINE; CDC Data Suggests Nearly 35,000 Reports of COVID Vaccine Injuries, Including Death Among 5- to 17-Year-Olds].

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