COVID-19 Vaccinations: When Parents Disagree

With the recent development of the COVID-19 vaccinations and distribution underway, we are anticipating some questions and co-parenting issues relating to this vaccine. As Chicago family law and divorce attorneys, we are making sure we can address any co-parenting disagreements that come up when we are faced with parents who disagree about vaccinating their children. This type of disagreement is not new, there are parents who have different views on childhood vaccinations, but COVID-19 had added an extra layer. Even if you are or have been against vaccinating your children, are you going to allow the COVID-19 vaccine?

Are COVID-19 Vaccinations a “Substantial Change in Circumstances”?

COVID-19 Vaccine Not Yet Approved for Children

If you are in the process of negotiating a parenting agreement you can anticipate this and talk with your attorney about adding a provision about the vaccination. If you already have a parenting order in place you should review it and read the language regarding medical decisions. If you feel that you may need to ask the Court to modify the terms of the medical decision provisions, you will have to take all steps necessary per your agreement before you file something with the court. Often that is a communication requirement that you communicate your concerns to the other parent and if that does not resolve the issue then you move to mediation.

Discuss Your Position on Coronavirus Vaccinations with the Other Parent

There was a report done in Chicago by the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute in November of 2020 that revealed that nearly 7 in 10 parents said they were very likely or somewhat likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine for their children if one became available. The study also revealed that the pandemic on its’ own has not been a sufficient reason for parents to have their children vaccinated against the seasonal flu — if parents regularly provided their children with a flu vaccine it seems they may be more likely to agree that their children receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, if the parents did not take their children for an annual flu vaccine, COVID-19 has not changed their minds.

Dealing with the COVID-19 Vaccine and Moving Forward

The COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing the disease — a disease that has ravaged this country. Moderna has announced that it will begin testing its coronavirus vaccine in children between the ages of 12–17. It is also in the works to require a COVID-19 vaccine to fly — it may be that your passport will have a label or other indication that you have in fact been vaccinated.


When Everything Is On The Line, You Need An Attorney You Can Trust, That Will Advocate & Fight For Your Family! We Can Help!