Sacramento, Calif. – California lawmakers on Thursday amended a bill that would have allowed vaccination against a number of health conditions without parental consent, instead raising the proposed minimum age to 15, which is still the lowest in the US. will be in age.
Currently, minors in California between the ages of 12 and 17 cannot be vaccinated without the permission of their parents or guardians, except to be vaccinated to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. California state law already allows people age 12 and older to consent to the hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.
The bill, which last month approved the state Senate by a 21-8 vote, would have allowed people 12 years of age and older to receive any vaccine, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Including coronavirus. Even though his parents objected. This would have been the youngest age of consent in any state.
Republican Assembly member Kevin Kelly said in a tweet that the bill was “nowhere close” to the 41 votes needed to pass the assembly.
Katie Stewart, a spokeswoman for Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, the bill’s author, said supporters of the measure were close to getting enough votes in the assembly, but “it was not a slam dunk.”
“We think this will help make it easier,” she said. “And we think most of the people using it, who will take advantage of it, will be 15 to 18 years old, so we thought it was a good compromise.”
The amendment will not change the lower age of consent for vaccines related to sexually transmitted diseases.
Wiener’s measure is the latest coronavirus-related bill to run into headwinds. Several other proposals stalled as the wave of the winter pandemic subsided, leaving them as perhaps the most controversial remaining legislation.
Governor Gavin Newsom and Sen. Richard Paine both delayed measures related to school vaccinations until next year, and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks withdrew her bill that would require all California businesses to have coronavirus vaccines for their employees.
Stewart acknowledged that many members of the Assembly had concerns with the young age, and “we want to work with the public to bring it to the last line.”
Alabama allows children to consent to vaccines starting at age 14, 15 in Oregon and 16 in Rhode Island and South Carolina. Cities, including Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., allow children age 11 and older to consent for COVID-19 vaccines, and San Francisco ages 12 and older.
Republican Assemblyman Heather Flora said raising the age to 15 “doesn’t go far enough.”
“The state has for years tried to give 17-year-olds the right to vote and 12-year-olds the right to make medical decisions,” he said. “But we don’t want to prosecute criminals as adults until they are 25 because their brains are not fully developed.”