Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers here in Toronto, Canada today warned that the upcoming coronavirus vaccines could lead to disputes among divorced parents over whether each caregiver and the child are vaccinated.
“The coronavirus pandemic has introduced a lot of complications to parenting agreements, and we should expect something similar as the Covid-19 vaccine is rolled out,” said founder Russell Alexander. “In this case, there is a lot more guidance that we can rely on, however.”
In a media release seen by MNI Media, Alexander said that past court decisions on routine vaccinations and provincial and national laws on health care workers will resolve personal disputes between parents who are skeptical and those who are supportive of vaccination.
With at least three vaccines being prepared for distribution early next year, polls show the majority of Canadians wish to get vaccinated. In a recent Ipsos poll, 61 percent even said they support mandatory vaccinations.
But, as with any vaccination, there are parents who are skeptical of the science that shows vaccines prevent disease, which can cause a clash with those concerned about the health of their children. In the past, Canadian courts have ruled that the typical “due diligence” requirement for major decisions on children’s health may be relaxed in the case of a vaccine as it relates directly to their physical and mental welfare.
“Courts generally recognize the science behind vaccines, which should boost parents who wish to keep their child healthy in any dispute,” said Alexander.
He noted that in a recent case involving the coronavirus pandemic, a court split decision-making authority between separated parents, giving custody to the mother but giving the father the express right to make the final decision on whether their child was vaccinated for the coronavirus when a vaccine becomes available.
Note: Russell Alexander is author of the new book, "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Divorce," which includes a bonus chapter on divorcing during the pandemic.