Children vaccines

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Children older than 12 can get vaccines without parents’ consent

The Department of Health says children over 12 can get COVID-19 vaccines without parental consent. The law permits it in the Children’s Act.

Children vaccines

Image by Flickr

The health department has said children aged 12 and older can reach their own decisions on getting COVID-19 vaccines. They are permitted by the government’s Children’s Act law.


As the state revealed last week, the young ones are getting their turns at vaccination sites as of Wednesday 20 October. The briefing highlighted that the 12-17 group will only need one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, instead of the two jabs that are set for adults.

“Children 12yrs to 17yrs will be vaccinated through the Electronic Vaccination Data System. They can go to any private and public vaccination site nearest to them,” the department announced last Friday.

“We believe that this will come handy as the schools start their examinations and will be completing the academic year,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla said.

The statement was soon followed by news that many parents did not exactly expect. The department’s acting director-general Nicholas Crisp, drew furious reactions when he confirmed that children over 12 will not need parental consent to get vaccinated.

“Children do not need their parent’s consent generally for any medical treatment, but parents can give consent for their children to get vaccinated,” Crisp said.

“It is possible for a child between the ages of 12 and 17 years to go for vaccination at a health service without their parent’s consent.”

According to the Children’s Act, kids over 12 have adequate maturity and common sense on matters of medical treatment.

“A child may consent to his or her own medical treatment or to the medical treatment of his or her child if the child is over the age of 12 years and the child is of sufficient maturity and has the mental capacity to understand the benefits, risks, social and other implications of the treatment,” the Act says.