Covid-19 Vaccines for Children – Tips and Options Co-parents Need to Consider

For some parents in Maryland, getting their children vaccinated against Covid-19 is a no-brainer, and they celebrated when their child’s age group was eligible for a vaccine. On the other hand, there are parents who are wary of the vaccine due to its use for such a short time and concerns about potential future effects. The situation can be extremely difficult if two parents who are co-parenting a child disagree on this matter.

Making important decisions for a child is always difficult when two parents share legal custody and decision-making responsibilities. The issue of the Covid-19 vaccine has brought many parents to a standstill and even legal action over disputes. The following are some tips and options for people to consider when co-parenting during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keep it Between the Adults

Some parents turn to their kids to determine whether or not they want the vaccine, but this can be a mistake. Children often do not have the maturity or access to sufficient information to make an informed decision about their own vaccination. Instead, they might rely on what their friends are doing or other factors that should not go into this decision.

Try to Weigh the Decision Together

If you disagree with your child’s other parent, try to hear each other out and allow them to explain their reasoning. Some important points to discuss might include:

  • Where is each parent getting their information from? What are the sources that they are basing their opinions on?
  • Does one parent have particular concerns about Covid-19 exposure due to pre-existing health conditions? Is the child at a higher risk of severe illness due to a health condition?
  • Does the child’s vaccination status allow or prevent them from attending in-person school, having social engagement with friends, or participating in athletics or other extracurricular activities that they love?
  • What does the child’s pediatrician think about them getting the vaccine? Have both parents discussed the matter with a medical professional?

Often, if you take steps to have a thorough discussion regarding such an important matter, it can help you reach a middle ground on the decision of whether or not to vaccinate your child.

If You Still Cannot Agree

If you and the other parent are still at an impasse and cannot compromise, it is likely time to consult with a child custody lawyer. Your lawyer can review your parenting plan and custody agreement to help determine whether there is a straightforward resolution to the matter. They can also negotiate with the other parent or their attorney and explain the legal options.

Sometimes, the parenting agreement will set out which parent makes which decisions, such as healthcare, or which parent serves as a tie-breaker for health-related matters when you cannot agree. You might need to engage in mediation to help you reach an agreement on this important issue.

One thing you should not do, however, is to get your child vaccinated behind the other parent’s back when you know they do not agree. This can impact your future custody rights in some situations.

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