A 12-year-old boy in council care in Grimsby can be given vaccinations for flu and COVID-19 despite concerns from his mother, after a High Court judge’s ruling.
A private hearing for the case was held in Grimsby High Court’s family division, with the report published this week.
The report reveals how the boy, who cannot be identified, wanted to be vaccinated, with his father and council bosses supporting his decision, but his mother was against it.
The boy’s mum stated she was against her son receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as she did not believe it was “tried and tested” and wanted to wait for more “compelling evidence”.
She asked for more time to look into the safety of the flu vaccine, and claimed she didn’t accept the decisions about national vaccination programmes were based on “sound evidence”.
The child has no known health conditions, and in a witness statement from a social worker, it shows the local authority responsible for his care relied on public guidance surrounding COVID-19 from the government and public health bodies.
That guidance, as of October 19, 2021, states the UK’s chief medical officers all agree that while COVID-19 is typically mild or asymptomatic in most young people, one dose of the vaccine will protect against severe illness and hospitalisation.
Local authorities are looking after the child following a care order in 2015, and Mr Justice Poole stated in court that council care workers were eligible to “arrange and consent to a child in its care being vaccinated”, whether that be for flu or COVID-19.
Mr Justice Poole indicated it was in the child’s “best interests to have both vaccinations given all the circumstances”. These include the child’s own wishes and feelings, as well as the balance of risk between having and not having the jabs.