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A new CA bill could allow 12 to 17-year-olds to get vaccinated without parental consent

Posted at 7:09 PM, Jan 21, 2022

A California lawmaker introduced a new bill on Thursday that would allow children 12 and up to be vaccinated without parental consent.

Right now, states like Alabama allow this at age 14, Oregon at 15, and Rhode Island and South Carolina at age 16. Only Washington, D.C. has a lower limit at age 11.

"Allow our teenagers to protect their health against COVID or other serious diseases,” said State Senator Scott Weiner, (D) San Francisco.

Senate Bill 866 aims to allow children and teens between 12 and 17-years-old to get vaccinated without a parent's consent as long as the vaccine has been approved by the FDA and CDC.

"We have heard from teens who have been unable to continue working because their employer requires vaccinations,” Weiner said. “We have heard from teens who have not been able to play sports because their sports team requires vaccinations."

But some parents are against the idea.

"Many parents don't want to co-parent with the state or with politicians,” said Melissa Clark.

She says parents should be part of any medical decision that affects their children.

"Parents know their children's medical history, they know their family's history, they know if their children are taking any current medications. They don't ask these questions at the clinics, they just give you a consent form,” Clark said.

On the other hand, some say this proposal is necessary.

"I actually think everyone needs to be vaccinated, kids and all,” said Kim Hennessy, a grandparent. “I have my own reasons, but I respect everybody else's reasons."

In a press conference Friday, Sen. Weiner argued that “California already allows 12 to 17-year-olds to make some significant medical decisions."

That includes reproductive health care such as birth control and abortion, and hepatitis B and HPV vaccines without consent.

If the bill is passed, the Weiner legislation would not be a mandate.