Children and young people under 18, generally, require parent/guardian consent to be vaccinated.
However, young people can also give consent for vaccinations as a mature minor.
The law recognises that as children become older and more mature, they are more capable of making their own decisions about a wide range of issues including decisions about their healthcare and wellbeing. The law recognises that a young person may reach this stage before they are 18 years old. These young people are referred to as ‘mature minors’.
There is no specific age when a young person may be deemed a mature minor. Determining whether a young person is a mature minor requires consideration of whether they have sufficient maturity to understand the nature and effect of a decision to be vaccinated. Relevant factors include:
- level of maturity for their age
- understanding of the issues and consequences
- living arrangements (independence).
In a school setting this determination may be made by the school principal in accordance with the DET policy on Decision Making by Mature .
In other settings it may be able to be made by a medical practitioner or other health or welfare professional who is considered to have sufficient knowledge of the young person and their history and circumstances to assess the above factors.
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