A 46-year-old mother living in Madrid, Spain, was found guilty by the court and arrested for attempting to escape to Portugal in order to prevent her children from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Although the court was prepared to release the woman on bail, it ruled that she would not be allowed to have any contact with her children after it came to light that the woman forbade her kids from going to school or visiting their father once she took them away.
Even before the pandemic began, the woman, identified as Christine M.C., and her ex-husband David had argued about vaccinating their kids. The boys, Diego and Hugo, who are aged 14 and 12 years old respectively, have not yet completed the full vaccination schedule for polio and tetanus.
Christine had been one of the first people to take a stand against the Spanish government’s COVID-19 vaccination policy. She strongly believed that the vaccine could cause long-term negative health consequences for her children.
After the ex-couple could not agree which parent had the right to decide about vaccinating their children, they approached the court. The court sided with the husband. David soon received a letter from his ex-wife which stated that she planned to remove their children from school. After Nov. 4, David could not meet his kids. He eventually filed a police complaint.
Christine had taken residence in her boyfriend’s home in Jerez de la Frontera, near the school the kids had been going to. She then tried to move to Portugal with the two boys. However, Christine turned herself to the police on Jan. 5.
A judge put her in custody and handed the kids to the father. In court, Christine’s lawyer defended her actions by saying that she was just trying to protect her children from the potential side effects of the vaccination.
Last December, countries all over the European Union began vaccinating children between the ages of 5 to 11. In Spain, the vaccination campaign for five to 11-year-olds began on Dec. 15.
According to a report by The Local, 964,000 kids between five and 11 years old were vaccinated with their first dose as of Jan. 3. That accounted for 29 percent of the 3.3 million children in the demographic. The media outlet calculated the rate of vaccination for the age group to be progressing at the rate of one percent per day on average.
A survey by market research company Appinio in mid-December revealed that 74 percent of parents were ready to have their children vaccinated; 12 percent of parents were against the inoculation; 13.7 percent were undecided.
There are regional variations in vaccinating kids. The northern region of Cantabria has a 43 percent rate in this regard while in the Balearic Islands, the progress was much slower with just 15 percent of the kids being inoculated.
In July last year, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had authorized Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 17. In November, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for kids between five and 11 years old.
Regulators in both the EU and the U.S. have cautioned that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines seem to be linked to rare reactions like heart inflammation and chest pain in young adults and teens.