MAILBOX: Allowing minors to get vaccinated without parental consent is unacceptable – a father’s lament

The vaccination of children against Covid-19 is an acutely sensitive subject in an already severely controversial arena. So much so that in October, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and a group of community organisations filed papers at the Pretoria High Court to stop the roll out of a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 17. In his founding affidavit, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe – the leader of the ACDP – said the government was using children as a shield to protect society from Covid-19. Meshoe further highlighted that the Department of Health was relying on the Children’s Act to allow children to consent to vaccination without their parents’ approval or involvement. Notwithstanding the fact that the Covid-19 fatality rate among children below the age of 18 is negligible, providing children with a right to get vaccinated – or receive any serious medical intervention – without parental consent is unsettling. BizNews was sent the following correspondence from community member Hannes van der Merwe, the father of a 14-year-old, who expresses his contempt for “the powers that be” behind this radical and unprecedented decision. – Nadya Swart

By Hannes van der Merwe

The impact of Covid-19 on every aspect of our lives is staggering. Combine this with social media and the spread of misinformation via every available channel by not only Google research experts, but also the very people we elect and are supposed to trust. The latest campaign to have children as young as seven years of age vaccinated fills me with disgust in how far the powers that be will go to reach an objective. No matter the consequences.

To blatantly advertise that my 14-year-old daughter does not require my consent to be vaccinated is overstepping the boundaries. If she wants to go on a school trip, I have to sign a consent and liability waiver. Any medical treatment I have to approve and consent to; in fact, she has no legal standing as a minor – damn, she is not allowed to vote!

I am responsible for my child and will be until she reaches a legal age. But someone is of the opinion that she can decide to be vaccinated or not. And I am sure if there are complications, the hospital will ask me to sign consent and I will have to foot the bill. Not a single entity will then step up and be responsible.

I am vaccinated, my wife decided to not be vaccinated, it is our constitutional right to decide.

Our children had a difficult time coping with the uncertainty of school and lockdown, to the ever-present social media pressures and dangers, and now ‘they’ use peer pressure to promote vaccination. NO.

It is unacceptable for anyone to undermine my family values. How far will it go?


Hannes van der Merwe.

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