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Kids 12 And Up No Parental Vaccination Consent

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Sacramento, CA – California could become the state with the youngest consent age of any state for children to get vaccinated without their parents’ approval.

Under a proposal by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) SB866 would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent. Wiener argued that California already allows those 12 and up to consent to the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and to treatment for sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, and mental health disorders. He also gave examples of children who may want to get vaccinated because of being barred from participating in sports, band, or other activities.

“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.”

Wiener added that vaccine hesitancy and misinformation have not only deterred COVID vaccinations but also measles and other contagious diseases among children. The bill would lift the parental requirement for any vaccine that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While Wiener’s legislation is not a mandate, it is permissive, but could still see a lot of push back, as any vaccination legislation is controversial. Opponents counter that this is a flawed policy and parents should not be removed from this vital decision.

Currently, there remains 28.6% of children aged 12-17 unvaccinated in California. Weiner noted that other states have similar age limits including Alabama at 14, Oregon at 15, Rhode Island, and South Carolina at 16. The only lower age limit in the nation is Washington, D.C. at age 11.