Well, we have had another case about whether a child should be vaccinated or not where one parent says yes and the other says no. The application started out to be about MMR and the NHS vaccinations. It was then expanded to ask the court to consider the question of travel vaccinations and the COVID19 vaccine.
The court would not be drawn on this. On the point about the travel vaccination, there was no travel planned, no vaccines being considered and the court had no information. Basically, it seems to me that the court would have been willing to answer a specific point on travel to a specific country and specific vaccinations but not a generic question where no travel is planned. In respect of the NHS programme of vaccination, the judge referred to the existing caselaw on the topic and made the order that the children should have the NHS vaccines in accordance with the NHS programme. I wrote an article about this HERE.
On the COVID19 point, the judge declined to get involved on that question, saying:
I wish to make abundantly clear to anyone reading this judgment that my decision to defer reaching a conclusion regarding the administration to the children of the vaccine against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 does not signal any doubt on the part of this court regarding the probity or efficacy of that vaccine. Rather, it reflects the fact that, given the very early stage reached with respect to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, it remains unclear at present whether and when children will receive the vaccination, which vaccine or vaccines they will receive in circumstances where a number of vaccines are likely to be approved and what the official guidance will be regarding the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to children
At the end of the judgment, the judge said that considering the past case law on the topic (which analysed the scientific information) it would:
make it 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
In other words, watch this space.