CA Seeking To Pass Bill That Allows Preteens To Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent
Coronavirus

CA Seeking To Pass Bill That Allows Preteens To Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent

California is seeking to pass a bill that allows preteens to get vaccinated without parental consent. Like other states, CA is jumping on board. There is a chance that children 12 years old and up can get the COVID-19 vaccination due to a proposal introduced late Thursday.

States Allowing COVID-19 Vaccine Without Parental Consent

Alabama allows such decisions at age 14, Oregon at 15, Rhode Island, and South Carolina at 16. Only Washington, D.C. is the only state that has lowered the age limit to 11. Senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, proposed the change. He argued that CA already allows children 12 and up to receive the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines without parental consent. In addition, they can also receive treatment for STIs, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.

“Giving young people the autonomy to receive life-saving vaccines, regardless of their parents’ beliefs or work schedules, is essential for their physical and mental health,” he said. “It’s unconscionable for teens to be blocked from the vaccine because a parent either refuses or cannot take their child to a vaccination site.”

California Law

Currently, California minors ages 12 to 17 cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine without their parent or guardian’s permission. Weiner’s bill would lift that requirement for that age group for any vaccine that the FDA and CDC have approvedWeiner fears that the hesitancy and misinformation have deterred vaccinations against other contagious diseases that can spread among youth.

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In October, CA Gov. Newsom announced the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school kids. However, it more than likely won’t take effect until later 2022 and does allow medical and religious exemptions. The new legislation is permissive but not a mandate. Before the pandemic, hundreds went to the capital to oppose the current vaccines already required for school children. And in September 2021, more people rallied at the Capitol to oppose the vaccine mandates.

“This to me seems to be another example of Democrats wanting to remove parents from the equation,” said Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher. “I think that’s flawed policy. I think parents are vital to these decisions.” In addition, Gallagher believes that Weiner will still have an issue getting this bill passed.

Children age 5 and up are currently eligible for coronavirus vaccines. Unfortunately, only 28.6 percent of those in California ages 12-17 remain unvaccinated. More than 900,000 of an eligible population of more than 3 million, or more than one in four, Wiener said. In addition, he pointed out examples of those who would need to get vaccinated in order to participate in extracurricular activities.

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