Yes. The law recognises that as young people become older and more mature, they are more capable of making their own decisions about a wide range of issues including decisions about their health and wellbeing. The law recognises that a young person may reach this stage before they are 18 years old. These young people are referred to as 'mature minors'.
There is no specific age when a young person may be deemed a mature minor. Determining whether a young person is a mature minor requires consideration of whether they have sufficient maturity to understand the nature and effect of a decision to be vaccinated. Relevant factors include:
- level of maturity for their age
- understanding of the issues and consequences
- living arrangements (independence).
The School Health Team will always encourage a Year 10 student to seek the consent of their parent/legal guardian in the first instance.
If there is no consent and a Year 10 student young person asks to be vaccinated with the meningococcal ACWY vaccine, they can be assessed by a Registered Nurse and if they are determined to be a mature minor, can receive the vaccine. Their details will be updated on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). In this instance a Year 10 student is encouraged to discuss their decision with their parent/legal guardian. Please complete and return a consent card even if you do not consent for your teen to receive these vaccines at school.