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Re SL (Permission to Vaccinate) [2017] EWHC 125 (Fam)

Date:6 FEB 2017
Third slide
Law Reporter

(Family Division, MacDonald J, 30 January 2017)

Public law children – Vaccinations – Interim care order

The court held that it was in the child’s best interests to receive Hib and PCV vaccines.

Care proceedings were ongoing in relation to the five siblings. Interim care orders were in place and the local authority applied under the inherent jurisdiction for a declaration that it was in one of the children’s best interests to receive Hib and PCV vaccines. He was 7 months old. The mother was opposed to him receiving the vaccinations.

A jointly instructed expert report concluded that there was no medical reason why the child ought not to have the vaccinations and withholding the Hib and PCV vaccines for him would mean deliberately maintaining his vulnerability, which was at its maximum given his present age, to two very serious infections which were major causes of infection, including bacterial meningitis. There was no evidence of any of the siblings experiencing adverse reactions to the vaccines as asserted by the mother and even if there had been, that, in itself, would not dictate that this child should not receive them.

The court determined that it was in the child’s best interests to receive the vaccinations. The balance of risk plainly favoured immunising. In this instance the interference with the mother’s Art 8 right to respect for family life was in accordance with law and necessary in the interests of protecting the child’s health.

Neutral Citation Number: [2017] EWHC 125 (Fam)

Case No: ZW16C000297 and ZW16C00306

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 30/01/2017


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London Borough of Barnet

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First Respondent

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Second Respondent

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Third Respondent

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Fourth Respondent

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Fifth Respondent

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Sixth Respondent

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DL, KL, SL and ML
Seventh to Tenth Respondents

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Ms Hannah Markham QC and Ms Charlotte Georges (instructed by the Local Authority Solicitor) for the Applicant
Ms Barbara Connolly QC and Ms Meena Gill (instructed by Osbornes Solicitors) for the Third Respondent
Mr John Tughan QC and Ms Deborah Piccos (instructed by TV Edwards Solicitors) for the Seventh to Tenth Respondents
By agreement the court did not hear submissions from the remaining respondents

Hearing date: 24 January 2017

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Judgment Approved


This judgment was delivered in private. The Judge has given permission for this anonymised version of the judgment (and any of the facts and matters contained in it) to be published on condition always that the names and the addresses of the parties and the children must not be published. For the avoidance of doubt, the strict prohibition on publishing the names and addresses of the parties and the children will continue to apply where that information has been obtained by using the contents of this judgment to discover information already in the public domain. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that these conditions are strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Re SL (Permission to Vaccinate) [2017] EWHC 125 (Fam).rtf
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