Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Child vaccination rates in England fall across the board, figures show

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 26 September 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5773

Rapid Response:

Re: Child vaccination rates and parental authority

The main issue here is consent. Any GP who vaccinates a child who is not capable of giving consent needs to ensure the parents understand and are fully informed when seeking their authority to vaccinate their child. For example, they need to understand the purpose of the vaccination and the likely side-effects and the risks if they refuse the vaccination.

GPs should ensure they have evidence that parents are appropriately informed and of the decision they make.

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 October 2019
Caroline Fryar
Head of advisory services
Medical Defence Union
One Canada Square, London E14 5GS