Top Sask. court dismisses father's appeal against getting children COVID-19 vaccines

In a case between a separated couple, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has dismissed the father’s appeal to not get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19.

CBC News is not naming the couple, so as to not identify their children. 

In December 2021, the mother filed an application for sole decision-making authority on COVID vaccination for her children. 

The judge at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Estevan, Sask., found that the father “was opposed to the vaccinations on religious grounds” but granted the mother authority because it was in the “best interests of the children” to get vaccinated. 

The father then appealed that decision. In his affidavit, he said the children had already been infected with COVID and therefore he personally believes they have natural immunity to the disease. He also submitted two unverified medical studies not supported by evidence about the efficacy of vaccines. 

Scientists say SARS-CoV-2 is capable of reinfecting people again and again even if they’ve already had COVID. 

In the mother’s affidavit she said the children have not had antibody testing to determine whether they have natural immunity.

“Given that there is no evidence establishing the significance of having had COVID-19 to the issue of whether vaccination is advisable or necessary, it would receive little weight and, therefore, would not weigh decisively on an issue or have an effect on the outcome of the hearing,” wrote court of appeal Justice Jerome Tholl in the late July decision.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal said the father’s personal conclusion that his children have natural immunity to COVID‑19 after being infected cannot be admitted because he doesn’t have medical expertise. (Law Courts of Saskatchewan)

The father’s “personal conclusion that the children now have natural immunity to COVID‑19 cannot be admitted because he has no medical expertise to offer such an opinion,” Tholl added.

The judge also said that the two medical studies the father provided “are not admissible because the authenticity and credibility of this evidence has not been sufficiently established.”

This case is similar to another that occurred last year involving a divorced Saskatoon couple. In that case, the judge ruled a 13-year-old girl should be vaccinated against COVID-19, despite legal opposition from her mother.

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By Jon Doe