North Yorkshire man with disabilities can have Covid vaccine despite family objections, judge rules

The man's sister had objected to him having the vaccine as she said he had brain damage from a childhood jab. Credit: PA

A judge has ruled that a man in his 60s with a learning disability should be able to have a Covid-19 vaccination despite objections from his sister.

The man, who was under the care of the North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, had brain damage that appeared to be caused by a childhood vaccination against Whooping Cough, the court heard.

The man's sister was against vaccination and suggested a Covid vaccine might result in "catastrophic consequences" for a second time.

Mr Justice Poole has concluded that vaccination is in the man's best interests after analysing evidence at a recent hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues about people who might lack the mental capacity to take decisions for themselves, in Leeds.

He said in the "great majority" of cases it was in the interests of a patient at the centre of Court of Protections to be vaccinated in accordance with public health guidelines.

Lawyers for the North Yorkshire CCG brought the case forward.

The man's sister argued that the use of vitamins, minerals and pro-biotics could prevent the more harmful effects of Covid.

But lawyers representing the commissioning group asked the judge to rule that vaccination was in the man's best interests.

A GP said the man had an annual flu vaccination.

The judge was also told that staff at the care home where the man lived were in favour of a Covid vaccination.

Mr Justice Poole said: "Balancing all the circumstances I have come to the firm conclusion that it is in [the man's] best interests to be administered then Covid-19 vaccine."

He added: "There may be exceptional cases where a patient's condition, history or other characteristics mean that vaccination would be medically contraindicated in their case, but in the great majority of cases it will be in the medical or health interests of a patient to be vaccinated in accordance with public health guidelines."

The judge ruled that the man cannot be named in media reports.