Mother given authority over children’s COVID-19 vaccination status in Alberta court case –

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A Lethbridge judge has ruled in favour of a mother’s wishes to have her two children vaccinated against COVID-19, despite their father’s opposition.
The names of the individuals involved are not being released in order to protect the privacy of the family.
According to public court documents from the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the mother and father divorced in 2014 and have joint custody of two children aged 10 and 12, referred to as ARB and BPB, respectively.
The parents had agreed to give the children their annual flu shots, and both are up to date on their childhood immunizations.
Read more: A family divided: When parents, kids disagree on COVID-19 vaccines
However, a disagreement over whether or not to vaccinate the children against COVID-19 arose, the purported first argument of its kind within the parenting agreement.
The father wished to wait until there is “further evidence” pertaining to the safety of the vaccine before going ahead with the immunization.
Justice Johnna C. Kubik said the “father’s engagement with vaccine misinformation” was shared with the two children, putting them under stress and anxiety from his “questionable resources.”
“The underlying argument is that the father’s position with respect to vaccination is underpinned by misinformation and conspiracy theories, and his willingness to share this with the children demonstrates that he is not able to make decisions in their best interests,” her decision read.
The mother wishes to have the children vaccinated for a variety of reasons, including their ability to participate in recreational activities safely, be protected from contracting the virus and to demonstrate community responsibility.
According to the document, the father’s comments caused ARB to express worry the vaccine would put them at risk of death, while BPB, on the other hand, said they wished to consult further with their doctor before receiving the vaccine but did express interest in being immunized.
In her decision, Kubik outlined evidence of vaccine efficacy provided by clinical trials and Health Canada, also citing two similar cases in Saskatchewan and Ontario, where “the courts were presented with significant documentation from publicly accessible government sources, prior cases and relied upon their own knowledge to take judicial notice of certain facts relating to COVID-19 and the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, including the fact of vaccine approval, recommendations for use, risk, safety and efficacy.”
In Canada, a pediatric version of the Pfizer vaccine was approved for use in children aged 12 to 17 on Sept. 16, and for use in those aged five to 11 on Nov. 19.
After determining it was in the best interest of the children’s well-being to do so, the mother was granted full authority over all decisions relating to the children’s health and COVID-19, including immunization when they are ready and health treatment.
The two parents will continue to share joint decision-making authority over all other health matters, and the father is no longer permitted to discuss COVID-19 with the children.
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