There is clear evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines carry with them a risk of harm.
Father Seeks Vaccination for Children Against COVID-19.
The mother seeks a restraint on the father from facilitating the children to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus without her consent. On the other hand, the father seeks sole parental responsibility with respect to having the children vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The Court, in making final parenting orders, relied upon expert evidence which informs risk-benefit analysis.
The parties commenced cohabitation in 2011 and were married in 2013. They separated on a final basis on 15 February 2018 and a divorce order was made on 9 April 2019. On 22 January 2019 Judge Henderson (as she then was) made, with the consent of the parties, parenting and property orders on a final basis. Those orders provided that the children were to live with the mother and spend six nights each fortnight with the father. The parents agreed to equally share parental responsibility for the children.
On 17 August 2021 the mother left the children in the care of the father and travelled to Queensland. Upon the mother’s return from Queensland the parties participated in a mediation on 22 December 2021. On 23 December 2021 the legal representative for the mother wrote to the father seeking his undertakings not to allow the children to receive the COVID-19 vaccination upon them becoming eligible to do so on 10 January 2022. On 29 December 2021 the mother, having received no response to her letter of 23 December 2021, filed an Initiating Application in the COVID-19 list seeking an urgent injunctive order to restrain the father from facilitating the children receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
On 6 January 2022 the father had both children examined by their local General Practitioner Dr B who produced a medical certificate confirming that the children had no underlying health conditions which would prevent them from being vaccinated against COVID-19. The parties consented to an order restraining the parties from causing or facilitating the children receiving the COVID-19 vaccination pending further order. The vaccination application was set down for final hearing on 30 March 2022.
There was controversy about the school that the children were to attend and which parent they should live with. Interim orders were made varying the orders of 22 January 2019. In accordance with the orders of 15 March 2022 the children now reside with the father and spend time with the mother six nights each fortnight. On 21 March 2022 X tested positive for COVID-19 and has since recovered.
The mother seeks that the Respondent be and is hereby restrained from causing or facilitating or allowing the children, X born in 2014 and Y born in 2016 (“the children”) to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, absent the prior written consent of the Mother. The father seeks sole parental responsibility with respect to the specific issue of the children, X born in 2014 and Y, born in 2016, receiving any vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus.
I. Whether or not the father should have sole parental responsibility to determine whether the children should receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
II. Whether or not the Court should make orders restraining the parties from facilitating the children being administered the COVID-19 vaccine, as sought by the mother.
Baghti & Baghti and Ors  FamCAFC 71 – where the Court is not required to specifically address or respond to each submission individually.
The mother argues that she has not previously resisted the children being vaccinated but is concerned about the adverse impact of the COVID-19 vaccine. She makes it clear that she does not describe herself as an “anti vaxxer” but says that she is “gravely concerned about the long-term and immediate health risks to the children” if they were to receive the vaccine.
She relies upon the expert opinion of Professor Dr D, who in his expert report has undertaken a risk-benefit analysis of the mRNA vaccine for children and cautions that it is not wise to assume that mRNA vaccine are safe in children without access to more complete and long-term human safety data in children and more research into the potential effects of the delivered mRNA on human cellular function. He is currently not convinced that the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines meet the requisite requirement of benefit over risk to be recommended for use in healthy children, so this should be a personal choice of the parents and/or the child upon receiving all relevant information so they can make an informed decision, which would then be called informed consent.
The father deposed that the children are in good health and have no underlying health conditions that would preclude them from receiving the vaccine. He deposes that he and his new wife suffer from asthma putting them at higher risk of severe health consequences should they contract COVID-19. He argues that, as an employee of a Consulate in Sydney, he is obliged to take appropriate steps to protect the services provided by the Consulate. He relies upon the expert evidence of Dr C who gave evidence that the risks of not vaccinating children is far outweighed by the benefits of vaccination and the risks of not vaccinating children exposes children to the extensive list of complications from the Covid infection which many laypeople may not be aware of.
No medication is without side effects. There is clear evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines carry with them a risk of harm. Professor Dr D’s evidence was useful on this issue. However, there is no evidence that conclusively establishes that the risks of harm identified are unacceptable.
Order 1 of the Orders of 22 January 2019 is varied by allocating sole parental responsibility to the Father with respect to the specific issue of the children X born in 2014, and Y, born in 2016 (“the children”), receiving any vaccinations against the COVID-19 virus. The Father will provide the mother with seven days’ notice of his intention to have the children vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and the Mother will have 72 hours to communicate to the Father any views that she may wish to appropriately express.