Councils can arrange Covid vaccines for children in care despite parent opposition, High Court rules

The High Court has ruled that local authorities can usually arrange for children in their care to have Covid-19 and flu vaccines even when parents object.

At a family court hearing last week, Mr Justice Poole ruled that authorities could generally agree the vaccination of children for whom they have a care order without court approval, despite parents’ objections, so long as:

  1. The vaccines in question were being administered to children of the relevant age as part of a national programme approved by the UK Health Security Agency,
  2. The child was either not of sufficient maturity to consent (Gillick competent) or was Gillick competent and did consent, and
  3. The local authority was satisfied that it was necessary to do so to safeguard or protect the child’s welfare.

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