Can I say no to being vaccinated if my parents give consent?

 

Probably yes – but it depends on how old you are.

 

Are you 16 or over?
 

Then yes, you’re free to say yes or no to any medical treatment – that includes getting a jab.

 

Are you under 16?

 

Then it depends. The law in the UK recognises that as you get older, you’re more able to make your own decisions about your health. This is called being ‘Gillick competent’, named after the court case that first set up this law.

 

Whether you get to decide or not depends on how serious the medical treatment is. Vaccines aren’t considered serious, so it’s likely you’ll be able to say no to the Covid-19 jab, even if your parents say yes.[1]

 

I want to say no, but I don’t want to upset my parents

 

That’s totally understandable. First thing is to talk to them, calmly. Explain why you don’t want to have it – maybe show them the information on this website, too.

 

If they still want you to have the jab, you can still refuse to consent. The medical team involved must then assess you to ensure you are ‘Gillick competent’. That means they check you’re mature enough to make your own decision. If they decide you are, then your decision is final.[2]

 

Remember…

 

  • Consent is only considered lawful if you give it freely and without any pressure.

  • You don’t have to give a reason for saying no, if you don’t want to.

  • If you say yes to the jab and then change your mind, no problem. Just say “I have changed my mind, I don’t want it.” No one can make you have it.