‘Children in care can be vaccinated against their parents’ wishes without courts having to intervene, senior judges said today.
Three judges said scientific evidence ‘clearly establishes’ it is in the best interests of children to be immunised unless there is a specific reason for them not to be.
The ruling comes at a time when researchers around the world are working on a vaccine for the coronavirus.
Lady Justice King, sitting with Lords Justice McCombe and Peter Jackson, made the judgement in a Court of Appeal ruling published today.
They said councils should not make decisions regarding vaccinations based on the strength of parents’ views unless they have a ‘real bearing’ on the child’s welfare.
The judge also said it is neither ‘necessary nor appropriate’ for councils to go to court every time a parent objects to their child being vaccinated.
She said: ‘The administration of standard or routine vaccinations cannot be regarded as being a ‘serious’ or ‘grave’ matter.
‘Except where there are significant features which suggest that, unusually, it may not be in the best interests of a child to be vaccinated, it is neither necessary nor appropriate for a local authority to refer the matter to the High Court in every case where a parent opposes the proposed vaccination of their child.’