A judge has ruled a 12-year-old girl who is uninterested in taking a COVID-19 vaccine cannot be compelled to take a jab, following a decision in an Ontario family court.
“I do not want my COVID-19 vaccine,” the young girl, described as an A-student, said in an email to the court detailing her decision. The girl explained how “people who have received both shots and the booster are still getting COVID,” and that “she heard from friends that their doctors are advising that children not get vaccinated.”
More information surrounding risks/benefits of COVID-19 vaccines can be found here. The Ontario provincial government also offers additional information, which can be found here.
The court heard how the girl's mother “is not against the COVID-19 vaccine but is not prepared to force her daughter to be vaccinated against her will,” Blacklock's Reporter reported.
The girl's father filed a motion attempting to have the girl vaccinated ahead of the upcoming school year, suggesting that the vaccine is “keeping everyone in our community safe.”
“I do not want the vaccine. I hope my wishes will be respected,” the girl said, saying that this was her “final decision.”
In his ruling siding with the mother and daughter, Justice Christopher Corkery wrote that “the science relating to COVID-19 is developing,” adding that “the ‘facts’ are changing.”
“What are the health implications if children receive the current vaccine but skip some or all of the boosters?” the judge wondered. “What future COVID variant will boosters guard against?”
These questions, Corkery said, “are all questions requiring answers which are currently unavailable. “It is improper for the Court to pre-determine future medical treatments at unknown times, in unknown circumstances.”
Continuing in his explanation, the Ontario Superior Court justice raised more questions. “Does safe mean there are no side effects? Is the vaccine effective in protecting her from contracting COVID-19, from spreading it, from dying from it, from severity of symptoms?”
Justice Corkery outlined how “As with informed consent there are many factors that must be carefully considered in weighing risks and benefits.”
A forced inoculation for COVID-19 would, in the justice's words, “would not respect her physical, emotional and psychological safety, security and well-being but would in fact put her at risk of serious emotional and psychological harm.”