The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and the Regions (SKR), which represents both the regional governments that run Sweden’s health care system and the municipalities that run schools, said that it had decided that 15-year-olds could be mature enough to decide for themselves, even if it said that it was up to each individual region to decide, they wanted parents to have their say.
Health officials assess maturity by having children or adolescents fill out a form that answers various questions about their health and test their understanding of what it means to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
For children under the age of 15, Spak said, SKR considered that regions and municipalities in general should be required to obtain written consent from parents, but she said that if there was a strong disagreement between parents and 12 to 14-year-olds, health officials can still in some cases make an individual assessment of the child’s maturity and go against the parents’ wishes.
Stellan Johansson, vaccine coordinator from the Örebro Region, told DN that he expected to secure parental consent as the biggest challenge in this vaccination phase.
“There is no doubt about getting parents to sign a consent form and send it in before we can vaccinate their children,” he said. “This will place an extremely heavy responsibility on parents to play an active role.”
Åke Tenerz, vaccine coordinator in Västmanland, said that he expected increased resistance from anti-vaccination campaigns.
“We have seen that the lower we have gone in age and started vaccinating 16 to 17-year-olds, anti-vaccination groups have become more and more active,” he said. “They are a small group, but they make things unpleasant for people who work in vaccination centers and for those who are vaccinated.”
Vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds is expected to begin on October 11 around Sweden, and some regions choose to carry out vaccinations at vaccination centers rather than in schools as originally planned.