SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A 12-year-old Dutch boy has been told by judges in Groningen that he can be vaccinated against coronavirus even though his father has refused to allow it.
The youngster went to court in a bid to get vaccinated in order to visit his grandmother who is seriously ill with lung cancer. The child said he feared that he might infect his relative with coronavirus and that she could die from the disease.
His parents are separated and divided over the vaccination issue. His mother has agreed that he can be jabbed and supported her son in court, but his father is opposed to both vaccination and testing.
During the court hearing, the boy’s father said he was concerned about the vaccine side effects and that its use is disproportionate to the risks. The judge said in his ruling that while children in general have fewer symptoms and are less poorly if they catch the virus, there is a real risk that they can be ill for some time or develop long covid.
‘The risk of infecting others is also significantly lower with vaccinated people than with the unvaccinated,’ the judge said. Lawyer Bennie Werink, who supported the boy and his mother in court, said the case is the first of its kind that he is aware off.
The Netherlands introduced vaccinations for 12 to 17-year-olds in July, but only 17-year-olds were allowed to take the decision without the involvement of their parents.