Vaccination of 5 to 11 years old: a judge authorizes it for 2 children despite the father’s opposition

Vaccination of children under 12 against COVID-19 seems to be treated the same way as that of adolescents by the courts: a Superior Court judge has just authorized a mother to have her two offspring vaccinated despite the father’s opposition.

“The Court is of the opinion that the approach of the parent who wishes to follow the recommendations of the authorities in matters of public health with regard to vaccination must prevail unless there is a special circumstance concerning children”, wrote Judge Jérôme Frappier of the Superior Court of Longueuil in its decision rendered Tuesday.

This is probably one of the first judgments on the vaccination of children in the 5 to 11 age group.

As the threat of the Omicron variant looms, it appears parents still disagree on the vaccine.

This was the case with this separated couple from Montérégie, parents of children aged 9 and 10.

It was the mother who applied to the court for the two babies to be vaccinated.

The father refuses for several reasons which he explained to the judge: according to him, it is probable that the children already benefit from a natural immunity and he judges that the vaccine carries risks for the children as well as harmful effects.

The judge noted that the father offered no medical evidence to support his claims, nor did he establish any special circumstances concerning his children which would justify their not being vaccinated.

In addition, the magistrate notes that the father adopted an “attitude of protest at the level of the pandemic”, in particular on its effects and on the health measures to be taken. He sees as proof his posts on social networks such as these: “the mask is useless” and “Bill Gates says vaccines are used to reduce the world population.”

Judge Frappier therefore decides by relying on the opinions of the Committee on Immunization of Quebec and the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, both of which recommend vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds. He concludes that it is in the “best interests of the children” that they receive the recommended vaccine and allows the mother to take them to be inoculated “without the consent of the father”.

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