Children will get final say on Covid vaccination if they disagree with parents, says Health Secretary

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 10:59 am
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said children will get the final say on Covid vaccinations if a disagreement arises between them and their parents (Photo: Shutterstock)

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said children will get the final say on Covid vaccinations if a disagreement arises between them and their parents.

Mr Javid said a child “will prevail” if they are believed to be competent enough to make the decision regarding the coronavirus jab.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recently decided against recommending Covid vaccines for all 12 to 15-year-olds on health grounds, due to the virus presenting such a low risk to them.

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However, the UK's chief medical officers are currently reviewing the wider benefits of giving this age group the jab, such as reducing school absences. They are expected to present their findings within the next few days.

'The child will prevail'

The Health Secretary told Sky News consent will be sought from parents of 12 to 15-year-olds as it has been “for decades”, but if a child is believed to be competent enough to make the decision they “will prevail”.

He said: “If there is a difference of opinion between the child and the parent then we have specialists that work in this area, the schools vaccination service. They would usually literally sit down with the parent and the child, and try to reach some kind of consensus.

“If ultimately that doesn’t work, as along as we believe that the child is competent enough to make this decision then the child will prevail.”