Cooper v Bruce [2022] NZFC 1479

Published 11 May 2022

Guardianship dispute — vaccination — Covid-19 — global pandemic — Gillick competence — Care of Children Act, s 5, 6 & 46R — Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1986] AC 112. In a dispute between the guardians of a child, the applicant mother opposed the child being vaccinated against Covid-19 while the respondent father supported it. The applicant sought an order that the child not be vaccinated, citing the risks of an adverse reaction and concerns about the long-term effects of the vaccine on the immune system. The child herself was in favour of vaccination, saying that this would make it less likely that she would become ill, would help her become more confident, and would allow her to attend events and activities. The Court found that the views of the child carried weight but were not determinative on their own. Although there were some risks associated with the vaccine, the Court found that it was in the child's best interests to be vaccinated. The application to prevent the child being vaccinated was declined. Judgment Date: 28 February 2022. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *