A Sydney father has been given permission by the court to vaccinate his children.
It might seem bizarre that he even needs permission from a court but there is a reason why.
Mr Randall, 52, has been involved in a long and arduous legal dispute with the mother of his children, who is against vaccinations.
The Family Court heard that 42-year-old Ms Duke-Randall – a pseudonym – believes her children suffer from allergies that will make them more at risk of “vaccine damage”. An immunology specialist gave evidence to the court that the children were healthy and did not have any allergies.
Ms Duke-Randall had submitted hundreds of documents to the court, including articles about the non-existent link between vaccinations and autism.
The father told the court that while he had agreed to his ex-wife’s stance when they were together “for the sake of peace in the household’’, after they separated he became more concerned. He told the court he was worried about his children – aged 12 and 14 – being excluded from school in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.
Some of the family’s relatives were also concerned about letting their own children play with the kids – because they weren’t vaccinated. According to the father, he ”was simply unable to negotiate with [the mother] on the issue”.
Louise Hall reported for Fairfax that while the parents fought over other issues, both were restrained from vaccinating the children until this January. However, the order was discharged when Justice Foster found that the mother had deliberately delayed proceedings. Justice Foster said Ms Duke-Randall had become “narrowly focused on [vaccines], perhaps to the point where the best interests of her children have been subsumed”.
It has now been recommended that the children be brought up to date on standard childhood immunisations.