Is immunisations without written consent legal?
A dad wonders if the Department of Health is allowed to vaccinate his child without his consent. See what they have to say.

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article about the outbreak of measles and immunisation

My child was re-immunised yesterday by the department of health in this area at his creche and I did not give written consent for this to be done. His school tells me that the Department of Health workers told them that only parents who gave written objections were exempt and they did not need written consent to carry out the injections.

I would like to know if is legal for the Department of Health to carry out immunisations without written consent from a parent?

Kind Regards,
Concerned Dad

We contacted the Department of Health with these concerns and this is their response.

In response to your query, please be advised as follows:

Western Cape Government Health has professional health teams that are currently vaccinating various age groups, depending on where they reside, against measles. Consent forms were distributed to all crèches and schools that are being visited. 

In answer to your questions, the consent form must be returned to the school, even if you do not wish to have your child vaccinated.  This is because the form has options where the parent needs to indicate whether or not they want their children vaccinated via the school health programme.

During the measles campaign, as long as the parent has signed the consent form or is in attendance, the child’s Road to Health Booklet is not necessary. We do however encourage parents to make a note of the date and name of vaccine, so that it is noted and it’s not forgotten.

Finally, should anyone have a complaint or query they are welcome to make contact with their local clinic who will be able to refer them to the relevant manager. The other option is lodge a formal complaint on the ‘hotline’ by sending a ‘Please Call Me’ to 079 769 1207 or by phoning 0860 142 142; Please make sure that you leave all the correct details so that we can contact you.

Kind regards,
Jo-Anne Otto, spokesperson for the Boland Department of Health

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