Can I be Forced to Give My Child the Covid-19 Vaccine?
Updated: Aug 17, 2021
There has been significant debate, with regards to the safety and long-term implications of administrating vaccines. As the Covid 19 vaccination programmes continues to roll-out, the debate has only increased.
Conflicting Views of Parents
Separated parents may have very different beliefs about childhood vaccinations.
When there is a disagreement between separated parents, on issues such as vaccinations, if both parents have Parental Responsibility, then vaccinating needs to be a joint decision. Any disagreement will lead to an application to the court.
The parent that wishes for the child to be vaccinated, may make an application to the court for a specific issue order to ask the court to give directions to determine the specific question
The parent opposed to the child being vaccinated can apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order that can prevent the other parent from having the child vaccinated.
What is the law on vaccines?
Vaccines are not compulsory by law.
There have been several recent court cases that have dealt with childhood vaccinations, one particular case is: M v H and P and T  EWFC 93, a private law case where the judge ruled that NHS scheduled vaccinations were in the best interests of the children despite the mother’s objection.
This was a matter that concerned an application by the Father, for a specific issue order concerning his two young children. The Father was asking for his children to be vaccinated following the NHS vaccination schedule. The Mother was opposed to her children being vaccinated.
Whilst the initial application concerned the MMR vaccine, the court decided to include all of the childhood vaccinations that are included on the NHS vaccination schedule.
In this case, whilst the Father sought to include the vaccination for Covid-19, the court decided not to reach a decision at that moment in time, as the vaccine was in its early stages and it was unclear at that time, whether and when children will receive the vaccination. However, the UK have approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15 years, stating it is safe and effective, so it is highly likely, given the newness of the Covid-19 vaccine, that more cases will come to court.
There have been multiple cases with regards to disagreements between parents are whether their child should be vaccinated. In the absence of reliable medical evidence to cast doubt on the safety of the vaccination, and if it is approved by the regulator, the court is setting a strong precedent that when they are asked to consider whether a child should be vaccinated, almost certainly side in favour of administering the vaccine.
This blog article should not be taken as Legal Advice.
If you need help with Family Law Matters / Children Act Matters, please feel free to contact us at; Help@inCourt.co.uk or call us on; 07375757510