Guidance released by Niagara Region Public Health claims that children can be vaccinated without their parent’s consent.
“Under the Health Care Consent Act, be advised that there is no minimum age to provide consent. This means that your child can consent to be vaccinated without parental consent,” the statement claims.
According to Niagara Region Public Health, children can consent to vaccination as long as they are informed and the consent is offered voluntarily.
The statement defines a person who is able to give consent as someone who understands “information that’s important to making a decision concerning vaccination” and who understands “the consequences of a decision or lack of decision.”
This information was presented on a general vaccination guidance page. True North has reached out to Niagara Region Public Health for comment and clarification but did not hear back in time for publication.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday morning, Niagara Region Public Health claimed there was “misinformation being shared” regarding parental consent and vaccination despite the claims originating on their website.
On Tuesday, public health officials in the region will be hosting a virtual town hall on vaccinating children from five to 11 years old.
“While most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or none at all, some children with COVID-19 can get very sick,” states Niagara Region Public Health.
“Vaccinating children will help to reduce the number of cases of COVID-19. The vaccine is shown in clinical trials to prevent symptomatic illness in youth.”
With regard to parental consent, Niagara Region Public Health states that it is “preferred that children get their vaccine with a parent or legal guardian present at the clinic.”
“If necessary, children can go with an alternative caregiver to get vaccinated.”
According to official government statistics, six children under the age of 15 have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began last year.
“There were six Covid-related deaths reported in Canada among individuals between 0 and 14 years old,” Health Canada spokesperson Anne Génier told Blacklock’s Reporter.
Health Canada data also shows that only 2% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 were under the age of 20.