Children and young people under 18, generally, require parent/guardian consent to be vaccinated.

However, young people can also give consent for vaccinations as a mature minor.

The law recognises that as children become older and more mature, they are more capable of making their own decisions about a wide range of issues including decisions about their healthcare 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:

  • age
  • level of maturity for their age
  • understanding of the issues and consequences
  • living arrangements (independence).

In a school setting this determination may be made by the school principal in accordance with the DET policy on Decision Making by Mature Minors.

In other settings it may be able to be made by a medical practitioner or other health or welfare professional who is considered to have sufficient knowledge of the young person and their history and circumstances to assess the above factors.