Court Orders Anti-Vaxx Dad Not to Discuss COVID Vaccines With His Children

A judge in Alberta, Canada, ruled this week that a father who expressed doubt in COVID-19 vaccines is no longer permitted to discuss the vaccines with his children.

The order came as part of a larger legal action between two divorced parents who disagreed over whether their 10- and 12-year-old children should receive coronavirus vaccines, CTV News reported. The parents were not named in the ruling, but share joint custody of the children.

According to court documents, both parents have agreed that their kids would receive their routine childhood vaccines and flu immunization. However, when the mother said she wanted the children to also be vaccinated against COVID-19, an argument erupted between the adults, which ultimately landed them in court.

On Tuesday, Justice J.C. Kubik of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench ruled in favor of the mother, citing the father's "engagement with vaccine misinformation" and belief that it was "experimental."

"During argument, his counsel also made reference to the experimental nature of the vaccine, the 'purported pandemic,' a lack of debate in the legislature and Parliament to establish the existence of the pandemic and a failure of transparency on the part of government in providing accurate information with respect to both COVID-19 illness related outcomes and vaccine safety," Kubik added.

The judge also said that one of the kids "suffers from vaccine anxiety" and has expressed fears that the coronavirus vaccine may hurt, or even kill her, after receiving false information from their father.

Because of this, Kubik said that the father's desire to keep his children from receiving the vaccine was not in their best interest, and ruled that the mother may vaccinate the children without his consent. Furthermore, the father is no longer permitted to discuss COVID-19 vaccines, or the pandemic in general, with his children, nor is he permitted to supply them with social media or other information about the virus.

"I also direct that the mother will have sole decision-making authority with respect to any medical and health related decisions associated with COVID-19 vaccination or treatment, now and in the future," Kubik added.

COVID Vaccine Canada Father
A father who has expressed doubts about COVID-19 vaccines has been ordered by a court in Canada not to discuss the vaccines or the pandemic with his children. Here, a health-care worker prepares to administer a Pfizer COVID vaccine at in Toronto on December 14, 2020. CARLOS OSORIO/POOL/AFP/Getty Images

Though Kubik noted that coronavirus vaccines have become a polarizing topic, he said the decision was ultimately based on the facts that the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for children as a safe and effective way to prevent infection.

"Vaccination is the children's best protection against the illness given that we are living in a state of public health emergency, during a global health pandemic. It is important to recognize that the risk of illness at this particular point in time continues to be high, and that vaccination reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering serious consequences as a result," the ruling stated.

The court order marked the first of its kind for Alberta, but matches similar rulings that have taken place across Canada in recent months. In September, a judge in Saskatoon ruled that a father may vaccinate his 12-year-old daughter despite opposition from her mother, according to CTV.

The coronavirus vaccine was approved for use in children ages 5-11 in both Canada and the U.S. in November.