Bill allowing preteen vaccines without parental consent passes California Senate
SAN FRANCISCO -- A bill that would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents' consent, including against the coronavirus, passed in the California Senate Thursday.
Senate Bill 866, authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), passed the Senate by a 21-7 vote. It now heads to the state Assembly for policy committee hearings. If it becomes law, California would allow the youngest age group of any state to be vaccinated without parental permission.
Currently, minors aged 12 to 17 in California cannot be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardians unless the vaccine is specifically to prevent a sexually transmitted disease. California does allow people 12 and older to consent to the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, as well as allowing teens access to reproductive health care, mental health care and other health services.
The bill would lift the parental requirement for that age group for any vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Teens should be able to protect themselves from deadly viruses, with or without parental approval," said Wiener in a prepared statement. "So many teens aren't getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and other deadly viruses because their parents are victims of anti-vaccine misinformation, are neglecting their kids, or simply don't have time to get their kids vaccinated. We shouldn't allow misinformation - or parental neglect - to prevent teens from getting the vaccines they need to stay healthy and participate in their communities."
In addition, Weiner said working or busy parents may not be able to take their children to medical visits, and low-income children may wait longer to get vaccinated because their parents may work longer hours without paid time off to get their kids vaccinated when they are eligible.
Other states already allowing teens to access vaccines without parental consent include Alabama, South Carolina, Oregon, and Rhode Island.
Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. allow children age 11 and up to consent to their own COVID-19 vaccines, and in San Francisco, the age is 12 and older.
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