Court: Vaccinate child of divorced parents despite mother’s objections

The court referred both parents to counseling to improve their parenting and communication in the best interests of their child.

 Children receive their dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at a Clallit vaccine center in Jerusalem on December 21, 2021. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Children receive their dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at a Clallit vaccine center in Jerusalem on December 21, 2021.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

A court spokesman announced a decision on Wednesday stating that the Ashdod Magistrate’s Court ordered a corona vaccination be given to a seven-year-old child of divorced parents, in favor of the father and despite the opposition of the mother.

Though the decision – believed to be the first such Israeli court decision, as vaccinating children under age 12 is still a relatively new phenomenon – was signed on Sunday, but only announced Wednesday.

The court did lecture the father for having gotten his son the first shot of the two-part vaccine without consulting the mother, and for not always properly watching over his son.

The father said that when he spoke to his health provider, they told him he did not need joint parental approval for corona vaccinations.

He added that he believed the mother would improperly oppose the vaccination.

The Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)The Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

The court pointed out the mother has been vaccinated twice, and that an older child of hers has been vaccinated.

The court told the father that in any event, any medical decision regarding the son needed to be in consultation with the mother or by court order.

After the lecture, the court still ruled for the father, noting that there is near universal medical support for vaccinating children, and that the duty is only to consult with the mother, not necessarily to let her veto a medically necessary action.

In addition, the court highlighted the current Omicron outbreak that is leading to nations locking down and closing their borders as strengthening the argument for vaccinating all citizens, including all children above the age of four.

Furthermore, the court said the child had not had any bad reaction to his first vaccination.

The court rejected the mother’s concerns that when the child was a young baby, he experienced a bad reaction to a vaccine at some point.

The court also referred both parents to counseling to improve their parenting and communication skills in the best interests of their child.