A video is circulating on social media – a selfie shot by a young mum – where she is extremely upset and angry that her young daughter was vaccinated at school without her knowledge or parental consent. She doesn’t even know what virus was injected into her daughter and worries that she may fall ill as a result.
The Derby Telegraph reports another incident in April 2019 where a mum found out her 14 year old son received a meningitis vaccination at school, again with her knowledge or consent.
When authorities overstep the mark
This has nothing to do with how you feel regarding vaccinations in general. It’s all about what the authorities feel empowered to do to our children without seeking permission first. Significant actions, such as administering medication or treatment to healthy children in a normal school environment should not be arbitrary decisions made by a teacher or the NHS.
The NHS has guidelines but there are still grey areas: “The rules say that children under 16 may still be able to give consent for themselves, provided they are mature enough to understand fully what is involved. Although your child might be grown-up enough to consent to a meningitis vaccination, for instance, it might be too much to expect him or her to grasp all they need to know for consenting to a heart operation.”
That seems to imply that a 14 yr old could simply shrug his/her shoulders and go along with what mates are doing (or their parents have consented to).
It seems wrong that the parent can be omitted completely from the consent process.
Schools in deprived areas being treated especially badly
As The Guardian reported in Sep 2020, “State schools in England have suffered their worst decline in funding since the 1980s, with secondary schools and those in the most deprived areas the worst affected by the era of austerity, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It is those schools that serve children from the poorest backgrounds which have had their funding cut the hardest”
We do not know for certain that these vaccinations stories originated in such schools but there is a high likelihood. It would not happen at Eton, of that we can be reasonably certain.
Parental consent rights in a pandemic
Can children be detained without their parents’ consent if the authorities think they have coronavirus? This is the title of a fact checked study on the website fullfact.org
A letter from Children’s Commissioner claimed that children can be detained for 14 days without their parents’ consent, and their parents don’t have to be informed. The fact checking response was that, given the powers in the Coronavirus Act, the law itself seems ambiguous enough that this theoretically could happen.
The law and forced medication
“Children in care can be immunised against parents’ wishes, court rules. Scientific evidence ‘clearly establishes’ vaccination is in a child’s best interests, say judges.”
But how about children in a normal home and school environment?
Apparently not but there are grey areas. We cannot find any record of a prosecution for administering a vaccination to a child without parental consent.
What vaccinations are given to schoolchildren?
The NHS publishes a pamphlet each year setting out what vaccinations are planned for each school going age group – usually broken down into 7-13 and 14+.
It is written for children and addresses them. Interestingly, on page 7 it says, “If you are being offered the vaccination at school, you may be given a consent form that your parent/guardian should sign giving permission for you to have the vaccination.” (our emphasis)
Nowhere does it tell children that they must have parental consent.
By the time they start primary school, children should have had:
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) – one injection at 3 yrs 4 mths old
- Flu – nasal spray
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio (dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV) – one injection
Then 13 yr olds (year 8) get HPV immunisation in two jabs a year apart.
Meningococcal infection: The routine dose of MenACWY is given in year 9/10 (around 14 years)
Tetanus diphtheria and polio: These need topping up and a total of 5 jabs are recommended. The first 3 as a baby, 4th between 3-5 pre-school, 5th age 13-14 in year 9 – the teenage booster.
Flu vaccination is an annual thing. For 2020, the Government is extending the programme to year 7 children in secondary schools.
Will vaccination become mandatory in law?
Covid19 and flu is a particularly deadly combination when they happen together. Covid is likely to continue spreading until an effective vaccine is approved and rolled out – expected sometime in 2021 but there is no guarantee.
We can’t see mandatory vaccination being accepted by the UK population nor would a populist government like the current one seriously contemplate it. They struggled to do what was needed to contain the pandemic in the first place, measures that would very likely have been supported by the general population.