The guidelines say vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15 will be administered by School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) teams that already carry out flu and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations in England. The role of schools will be limited to providing a site and distributing information and consent forms to pupils and parents.
In cases where parents withhold consent but the child wants to go ahead, the guidelines say the vaccination teams will determine if the child is able to make an informed decision – known as Gillick competence – and “make every effort to contact a parent to check before they proceed”.
“If a parent objects to their child being vaccinated but the child wants to be vaccinated and is judged to be Gillick competent, the healthcare professional will try to reach agreement between the parent and child. However, the parent cannot overrule the decision of a Gillick competent child,” the guidelines state. In that scenario the child will be vaccinated.
In cases where parents refuse consent and the child is not deemed to be Gillick competent or does not want to be vaccinated, the guidelines from the UK health security agency say a vaccination will not be given.
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