UK: 12-year-olds can get COVID shots even if parents object

Government regulations allow for "competent" children between ages of 12 & 15 to overrule parental objection to be vaccinated.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Child being vaccinated (archive)
Child being vaccinated (archive)

Almost two years into the coronavirus pandemic, the FDA is expected to rule in favor of vaccinating children between the ages of five and eleven any day, after its panel of advisors gave the kids’ shot a green light.

Many countries have already commenced vaccination drives for the next age bracket up, for children between the ages of 12 and 15. Last week, the UK government updated its guidelines for schools regarding the Covid-19 vaccination program in this age group.

“All children aged 12 to 15 years are being offered a first dose of vaccine as part of the school-based COVID-19 vaccination program,” the document states. “Children who are 12 years old and over on the day the School Age Immunization Service (SAIS) team visits the school, will be offered a vaccination as part of the in-school vaccination program … administered by healthcare staff.”

Given that the vast majority of children and teens will be offered the COVID vaccine in school, the UK government has taken pains to define the parameters of parental consent, writing that:

“All parents or those with parental responsibility are asked for consent and will usually make this decision, jointly with their children. The information leaflet is addressed to the child (as the recipient of the vaccine) and encourages them to discuss the decision about the vaccine with their parents.”

In cases where parents do not provide consent, however, the regulations make it clear that children who are deemed competent (referred to in legal terms as “Gillick competent”) may make the decision regarding whether or not to be vaccinated themselves.

“Can parents refuse to have their child vaccinated?” the document asks, answering: “Yes. The vaccination is not mandatory. Parents will be asked to give their consent for the vaccination.”

However, the document continues: “If a parent objects to their child being vaccinated but the child wants to be vaccinated and is judged to be Gillick competent, the healthcare professional will try to reach agreement between the parent and child. However, the parent cannot overrule the decision of a Gillick competent child.”