The question of infant immunisation is once again a seriously hot topic.
As first the Pfizer-BioNTech, then the Oxford Astra/Zeneca and thirdly the Moderna vaccine were approved and rolled out at super high speed in the last few months; debate has inevitably ensued about their safety.
Parents of young ones may be particularly apprehensive of the vaccine, weighing up the chance of Covid infection against any potential side-effects (whether real or not) of the new jabs.
Its very likely that should the time come for children to be immunised, the family courts will be asked to make orders in cases where a child’s parents cannot agree on whether or not the vaccine should be administered.
Although there aren’t yet any reported cases on the Covid vaccines, a court that recently had to rule on the issue of ‘normal’ infant vaccination schedule, did comment on the forthcoming Coronavirus immunisation. In the case of M v H (private law vaccination)  EWFC 93 the judge said it is “very difficult now to foresee a case in which a vaccination approved for use in children, including vaccinations against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, would not be endorsed by the court as being in a child’s best interests, absent a credible development in medical science or peer-reviewed research evidence indicating significant concern for the efficacy and/or safety of the vaccine or a well evidenced medical contraindication specific to the subject child”.
It remains to be seen how soon and how often the court is going to be asked to make rulings on the issue but I predict that in due course, a number of expert immunologists will be being contacted by parents to give evidence to the family court.
it is very difficult now to foresee a case in which a vaccination approved for use in children, including vaccinations against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, would not be endorsed by the court as being in a child's best interests