by Don Thompson | The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO — California will allow children 12 years and older to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent, the youngest age of any state, under a proposal late Thursday by a state senator.
Scott Wiener of San Francisco, Alabama allows such decisions at age 14, Oregon at age 15, Rhode Island and South Carolina at age 16. At age 11, only Washington, DC has a lower limit.
Wiener argued that California already allows those 12 and older to receive hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and to treat sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.
“Giving youth the autonomy to receive life-saving vaccines, regardless of their parents’ beliefs or work schedules, is essential to their physical and mental health,” he said. “It’s unconscious for teens to be blocked from vaccines because parents either refuse or can’t take their child to the vaccination site.”
Currently in California, minors between the ages of 12 and 17 cannot be vaccinated without the permission of their parent or guardian, unless the vaccine is specifically intended to prevent a sexually transmitted disease.
Weiner’s bill would remove the parenteral requirement for that age group for any vaccine that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This includes vaccination against the coronavirus, but Weiner said vaccine hesitation and misinformation have also prevented vaccination against measles and other infectious diseases, which can then be spread to young people whose parents are willing to vaccinate them. would not agree to.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the nation’s first coronavirus vaccine mandate for school children in October. But it likely won’t take effect until later this year and allows exemptions for medical reasons, religious and personal beliefs – though lawmakers may try to limit non-medical reasons.
Wiener’s law is permissive, not a mandate, but any vaccination law has been highly controversial in California and elsewhere.
Even before the pandemic, busloads of protestors filled the capital and lined up for hours to protest bills raising religious and personal beliefs for the 10 vaccines already required for school children.
And in September, more than a thousand people rallied outside the state capitol to oppose a vaccine mandate, even as lawmakers postponed their idea of legislation requiring workers to either be vaccinated or keep their jobs. Should receive weekly coronavirus tests for
“This to me is yet another example of Democrats wanting to remove parenting from the equation,” said Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher. “I think this is flawed policy. I think parents are critical of these decisions.”
However, he thinks Wiener may have difficulty even in a legislature heavily controlled by Democrats.
“I think there would be bipartisan support for the proposal that parents should be involved in their children’s health care decisions, in deciding what type of medical care and medications they should get,” Gallagher said.
On Wednesday, Wiener and other Democratic lawmakers announced they had formed a “working group” to investigate ways to promote vaccines and fight misinformation.
Members include Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician who wrote the previous vaccine legislation; Sen. Josh Newman; and Assembly Members Dr. Akila Weber, Buffy Wicks, Cecilia Aguirre-Curry, and Evan Low.
Weiner, who is associated with PAN, plans a news conference Friday about his SB866 with San Francisco’s director of public health, Dr. Grant Colfax, and several schoolchildren.
Wiener cited examples of children who want to be vaccinated because they are currently barred from participating in sports, bands, or other activities because their parents either can’t or can’t get them vaccinated.
Children 5 years of age and older are currently eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, but 28.6% of people aged 12-17 in California remain unvaccinated — more than 3 million of the eligible population of more than 900,000, or one in four More than one, Wiener said.
They said that people 12 and older could also consent to an abortion in California, although in that case lawmakers passed a law in 1987 requiring minors to obtain their parental consent. Medical emergencies or the permission of a judge would be required. But that law was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court.