Cover photo of O Pelicano's Facebook page

Private nursery ‘under investigation’ for sharing doctors’ Open Letter over folly of vaccinating children against Covid-19

A private nursery and primary school in Lisbon is ‘under investigation’ for sharing the Open Letter, published by a host of medical professionals, which explained why, in their expert opinion, children and young teens should not be vaccinated against Covid-19.

‘O Pelicano’ ‘hit the headlines’ yesterday because what appears to be a small group of parents (possibly just two) objected to what they called the school “dictating public health”.

But principal Marina Aires Pereira has stressed that the initiative was anything but ‘dictatorial’: it was the distribution of a letter co-signed by cardiologists, surgeons, pediatricians and ‘pediatric intensive care’ experts which has been largely ‘ignored by the press’, if not the authorities in general.

The Open Letter entitled: “Children and Young People Should not be Vaccinated Against Covid-19” was published in July this year, just as the debate about whether or not the under-18s should be vaccinated was raging.

Readers may remember that initially DGS health officials opted to err on the side of caution and vaccinate only those children whose ‘comorbidities’ meant they would be particularly vulnerable to infection by SARS-CoV-2 (click here).

The decision was not received well by politicians (click here), and quickly ‘revised’ (click here).

Since then the crushing majority of all children over the age of 12 have been fully-vaccinated against Covid-19.

The situation however is that pressure is now simmering for the vaccination roll-out to be extended to the under-12s: more precisely the over-5s (click here).

In this context, Marina Aires Pereira appears to have believed it might be useful for parents to hear another side of the argument – one that has for all intents and purposes been sidelined.

Sidelined may not be the correct word. SIC for example writes that the school “appeals” to parents not to vaccinate their children without researching into what is at stake.

“One can read: Children and young people should not be vaccinated against Covid-19”, says the station – not making it clear that this is the affirmation of the Open Letter, not of the school.

SIC continues: “It is not ethically acceptable that, in alleging the objective of protecting the elderly, a decision is taken to vaccinate against Covid-19 those of pediatric age”, again as if these are the words of the school. They are not. They are the words of the Open Letter, signed by eminent authorities in the field of medicine.

Today Ms Aires Pereira is described as “refuting any links to negationists”.

A warning not to subject children to a new vaccine for a disease they invariably won’t suffer from is suddenly lumped in with the ‘pandemic negationist movement’.

Ms Aires Pereira’s message however was simply that parents should be free to make informed choices for their small children, particularly as the need for those choices would seem to be looming.

For any readers who missed our own translation of the doctors’ Open Letter, it can be found in full in a text on how President Marcelo “insists on children being vaccinated” (click here).

Meantime, schools watchdog ‘the general inspectorate of education and science’ (IGES) is said to be investigating “a complaint” from one of O Pelicano’s parents.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com