Vaccines are a common childhood ritual, but it still cannot change the fact that it involves the use of attenuated pathogens, and there are chances and several ethical issues that can make vaccination backfire – which is why, the Delhi High Court has given out a notification, implying a law that requires consent of parents of the child before any vaccination is given.
The Delhi High Court has notified the city government about the need to have a rule of asking for consent from the parents of child before administering him with any vaccine, especially during vaccination campaigns held in the schools. Specifically, the rule involves a special mention of measles and rubella vaccine indicating that one must acknowledge the risk factors involved in MR vaccination prior to injecting a subject with the vaccines, as told by the high court justice Vibhu Bakhru.
This decision came after Delhi government said there was no need of informing or asking the parents whether to vaccinate their children or not, the reason being that the parents would deny vaccination once after hearing the drawbacks and risks involved in it. So as a rule, now vaccine will only be given to the kids whose parents have consented to it. Some parents had angrily contacted the HC and challenged the DoE’s December 12, 2018, notification stating that there was no need of express consent to administer the vaccines.
As per the notification, “the measles and rubella [MR] vaccination campaign will be held and all children… will be provided an additional dose of MR vaccine, regardless of previous vaccination status or history of measles/rubella-like illness”. Also, the parents counsel made an argument that opt-out consent is not suitable for such kind of decisions and they needed to have an express consent in order to vaccinate the children. Vaccination is a process related to one’s body and unless one consents to any such thing, his/her body cannot be touched. For now, the vaccination program is deferred and the court has stated that a detailed order will be passed regarding this.