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Praise for Emma Raducanu, and parents know best when it comes to their children getting the vaccine

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21.09.2021

Ever since the first wave of coronavirus ripped through our communities, we had been pinning our hopes on finding an effective vaccine.

That faith in science really has been the one constant throughout such an uncertain time.

Now, we are well on our way to protecting the population, as more than four million people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, while almost 3.8m have received their second dose, too.

With much of the adult community now vaccinated, the focus has shifted to the younger generation, and it was announced last week that 12 to 15-year-olds will be offered a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab from tomorrow.

Although it’s welcome news – especially given the high levels of infection in our schools – there is concern about one aspect of the announcement.

In England, guidelines under something called “Gillick competence” say that children will be able to overrule their parents’ decision on whether or not they should have the vaccine, and the same applies in Scotland under the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991.

It all sounds very technical, but essentially if a child is deemed competent and understands the health implications, they can refuse, or indeed take, their vaccine dose without their parent or guardian being informed.

Naturally, this is very worrying for parents.

When I heard the news, I thought a lot about the arguments from both sides, and I took myself back to being a mum of young teenagers.

As a parent, you never stop feeling responsible for your children, but it’s especially true when they are taking their first tentative steps towards adulthood.

Between the ages of 12 and 17, they........

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