State Watch

California bill would let children 12 and up get COVID-19 vaccine without parent’s approval

A bill was introduced Thursday to the California Senate that would allow children 12 and older to be vaccinated for diseases like COVID-19 without a parent’s approval.

SB 866, introduced by state Sens. Scott Wiener and Richard Pan, stipulates certain criteria for the vaccines that minors would be able to receive without parental consent.

An eligible vaccine must be “approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration” and meet “the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The vaccines could only lawfully be distributed by authorized vaccine providers holding state licenses.

“This is about empowering teenagers to make decisions on their own health and their own safety,” said Wiener of the bill, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Almost a million California teenagers are unvaccinated, and for a lot of those teens it’s because their parents either refuse to get them vaccinated or they have not yet gotten around to it.”

The introduction to the bill justifies a lack of parental involvement by naming other circumstances in which minors are able to acquire medical care without their parents’ knowledge.

Minors can be authorized for medical services without parental consent if they contract a contagious disease that is legally required to be reported to the state. This includes sexually transmitted diseases.

The bill will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023, if passed by the California Legislature and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Tags California children COVID-19 vaccine Gavin Newsom Vaccination

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