Application by a CCG concerning whether it is in DC’s best interests to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
DC, a 20 year old man, lives in residential care and suffers from schizencephaly, microcephaly, cerebral palsy and problems with his lungs so he often gets respiratory illnesses requiring hospital admission. He is unable to communicate verbally and it was common ground that he lacks capacity to decide the issue. His parents are opposed to the vaccines: the father had undertaken a good deal of research and considered them still experimental while the mother felt DC’s health meant that he could be at risk. The Official Solicitor agreed with the CCG that vaccination was in DC’s best interests.
HHJ Burrows notes that the approach followed by Macdonald J in M v H, and P & T  EWFC 93, where he found that “absent a credible development in medical science or peer reviewed research evidence indicating significant concern for the efficacy and/or safety of the vaccine” it would be difficult for a court not to sanction their use, could apply here even if that case concerned a child.
However he finds it a very difficult balance because of the rational analysis the parents presented before him. The deciding factor in deciding to allow the application was that:
“I can see [vaccination] having a positive effect on DC's enjoyment of life by allowing him to be more involved in the life of his care home and with his parents. If DC were able to make a decision for himself, I am satisfied that would be a magnetic factor for him.”
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