Consent to Immunisations and Parental Responsibility

Consent for Vaccines

  • Written consent is not required
  • If a child doesn’t have capacity to consent then the person with parental responsibility can give consent on their behalf
  • Parental responsibility is defined by the 1989 childrens act.
    • Mothers automatically have parental responsibilty
    • Fatehrs have responsibility if they are married to the mother when the child was born or subsequently marry her
    • Unmarried fathers may acwuire responsibility by:
      1. Being granted Parental Responsibility Order by court
      2. Being granted Residence Order by court
      3. Having a Parental responsibility agreement
    • Since 2003 unmarried fathers can acquire parental responsibility if they are named on the child’s birth certificated
    • A step parent can acquire parental responsibility if they marry the mother and either get a Parental Responsibility Agreement or the court grants a Parental Responsibility order
  • If Parents disagree then immunisation cannot go ahead without specific court approval
  • A person with parental responsibility does not need to be present at the time of immunisation. – as long as the healthcare professional is satisfied that the person with parental responsibility has consented in advance (written confirmation not required). For example a grandparent or childminder can bring the child in for them.