Care home resident must have vaccine despite son’s concerns, says judge

A West Indian woman in her 80s who is suffering from dementia and living in a care home should be given a coronavirus vaccine despite her son’s concerns, a judge has ruled.

The pensioner’s son raised concerns about the effectiveness of the vaccine and said testing had been predominantly carried out on “white people”.

He did not object to vaccination in principle but said medics should wait until more evidence had been gathered.

Doctors thought she should be vaccinated and Mr Justice Hayden agreed.

The judge concluded that the woman did not have the mental capacity to make a decision for herself and ruled that vaccination was in her best interests.

He was told that other residents in the care home where the woman lived had tested positive for Covid-19 and said she was at risk of becoming ill and dying.

Mr Justice Hayden said the woman was at “very high risk” and added: “The vaccination is in her best interests and, moreover, I consider it should be administered as expeditiously as possible.”

The judge considered the case at a virtual hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who might lack the mental capacity to make decisions are analysed, on Wednesday.

He said the woman, a retired secretary who was born in the West Indies and spent much of her life in the London area, could not be identified in media reports.

Care home resident must be vaccinated
Care home resident must be vaccinated

The woman’s son told the judge that he was “dismayed” by the decision.

“I am not objecting to my mother having the vaccination,” he told the hearing.

“I am just asking for it to be delayed – adjourned until there is more evidence.”

The man, who said his mother was “not black” but of “Spanish, French, Indian and Scottish” descent, wanted “more data” and added: “Testing has been done predominantly on white people.”

Mr Justice Hayden said he disagreed with the woman’s son.

He said there was no evidence that vaccines produced adverse reactions and they were recognised as being effective.