Wearing a mask indoors has ceased to be mandatory as of this Wednesday, marking the end of restrictions due to the pandemic. A new context that judges take into account when deciding whether a minor should be vaccinated or not when her parents disagree. In fact, the relaxation of the impositions by the health authorities and the “flu of Covid” have been one of the foundations of the judge of the court of first instance number four of Torrent (Valencia) to support the decision of a father of not vaccinate your child against coronavirus. The car can be seen at this link.
Since the autonomous communities began administering the covid-19 vaccine to children between five and eleven years old on December 15, 2021, 53.8% of them have received at least the first dose. This is the age group with the lowest proportion of the vaccinated population, although it is also the last for which its inoculation was approved. And it is that for its administration to minors, the accompaniment and consent of the parents or legal guardians is necessary, as exercisers of parental authority.
Therefore, if the parents do not agree on their child’s coronavirus vaccination, they must resolve the problem in court. This has happened in this case resolved by the court of first instance number four of Torrent (Valencia). The mother asked the judge to authorize her to be able to inoculate her six-year-old son with the Covid-19 vaccine despite her father’s opposition. However, the judge has denied the mother’s request and has considered that the father’s arguments were more solid, prioritizing, as stated in the order, the individualized interest of the minor, over the general interest of society. “The resolution is novel since all the previous ones in this regard, except for one issued in Icod de los Vinos (Tenerife) had ruled in favor of vaccination,” says Nuria Marín Hortelano, associate lawyer Sirera Saval Abogados who has defended the father of the minor.
In her argument, the mother defended that the inoculation of the vaccine to her son had the maximum guarantees since it had been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products. She also maintained that the benefits of her administration outweighed the risks, that the coronavirus is a disease that also affects minors or that her son did not have any disease that would contraindicate vaccination. Likewise, the parent stated that her son was exposed to contagion since he went to school, carried out extracurricular activities and visited her grandparents.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office also supported the vaccination of minors, considering it “the most suitable means of protecting minors and even society.”
Vaccine negative with official data
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
For his part, the father based his opposition to the vaccine fundamentally on uncertainty and ignorance of the side effects in children, as well as the method, deadlines and protocols by which the vaccine had been developed. In fact, he stressed that he had rigorously followed the minor’s vaccination schedule -both those included in the Security and those recommended that are paid for separately-, but that regarding the vaccine against covid-19 he refused “because it did not Side effects are known. “It should be very clear that the minor had received all the vaccines according to the vaccination schedule, so it was not a case of anti-vaccine parents and that the refusal of the vaccine focuses solely and exclusively on the pediatric vaccine against covid-19 , due to the uncertainties it generates about the possible future effects”, clarifies the father’s lawyer.
The parent also defended that, in case of coronavirus infection, children without previous pathologies “only have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, and rarely suffer serious consequences.” And, finally, he pointed out that his son did not have any problem in carrying out extracurricular activities if he was not vaccinated.
To support his arguments, as detailed in the order, the father relied on data from official reports extracted directly from the website of the Ministry of Health. An aspect that has been highly valued by the judge, as stated in the resolution, since, in contrast, the mother did not provide any pediatric report on the minor indicating her state of health and whether or not it was advisable to her vaccination.
And it is that, as Nuria Marín relates, “given the scant previous jurisprudence and the fact that the Public Prosecutor was in favor of the mother’s claim, substantiating the defendant’s position was hard work.” For this reason, according to the lawyer, “an investigation of the medical and statistical data by age group was necessary to prove that the effects of contagion in children between 5 and 11 years of age posed a lower risk than the possible side effects that with the passage of time they can be known”.
The interest of the minor ahead
For the judge, the solution to the disagreement between the parents was to determine which was the most beneficial option for the minor, analyzing the positive and negative aspects of inoculating him with the vaccine. In this sense, although the judge has admitted that mortality and hospital admissions due to coronavirus have been reduced thanks to the vaccine, he has also highlighted that there is still no clear knowledge of the side effects and that currently, “the situation is much less severe than the one that occurred months ago and the severity of the symptoms has decreased markedly. In fact, the resolution has made reference to the fact that in recent weeks the health authorities have relaxed the restrictions that previously existed, which, for the judge, is “evidence of the weakening of the disease.”
Regarding the specific case, the judge has insisted that there was no medical report that advised the vaccination of the minor, who also did not suffer from any previous pathology from which, in case of suffering from covid, a greater risk of developing serious symptoms could derive. “The need for vaccination of the minor has not been proven by the plaintiff, through any medical report or by providing data that proves the benefits of the vaccine in children of the age range of the minor,” explains the lawyer Nuria Marín.
Lastly, the judge has concluded that “the vaccination of a child cannot be justified in terms of the social benefit that it may entail due to less transmissibility”, since, in addition, according to the judge’s deduction from the official studies provided by the father, “the transmission of minors is much lower than that of adults.