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Lawyers confirm people’s right to informed consent on vaccination

PHILIPPINE lawyers have confirmed that people have the right to informed consent before being vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).   

Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) National President Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa said the government’s recent policy of non-disclosure of the COVID-19 vaccine brand in inoculation schedule announcements should not apply before the actual jab.   

“Non prior public disclosure of vaccine brand may be a practical measure only to avoid delays, undue hedging and over-extended lines for a preferred brand in the government’s free vaccination program,” Mr. Cayosa said in a statement on Monday.

“It does not and should not take away the right to informed consent as the citizen must be individually appraised before vaccination about the brand and other details to enable him/her to intelligently consent to or decline the offered vaccination,” he said.

The national task force managing the COVID-19 response clarified on Friday that people will be informed of the vaccine brand to be administered to them at the vaccination site.   

“Everyone will be properly informed at the site of the actual vaccine to be administered before he/she is made to sign the corresponding consent form,” Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, a member of the task force, told reporters Friday.

“The person concerned will not be compelled to take the jab if upon medical advice he/she believes that another vaccine is more suitable to his/her condition,” he added. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago

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