Proposed bill to allow teens to get vaccine without parental consent gains momentum

If very young Californians want to get a COVID vaccination without their parents' approvals, should they be able to get them? The answer to that is likely to be yes and soon

A Kaiser Family Foundation study released in December found 30% of parents say they definitely will not vaccinate their kids. State Senator Scott Wiener says about 1 million Californians, ages 12 to 17, are not yet vaccinated against COVID, which is why he's proposing a new law. 

"Senate Bill 866, which will lower the age of consent for receiving a vaccine from 18 to 12, to allow our teenagers to be able to protect their health, whether COVID or other serious diseases, to ensure that our schools are safe," said Sen. Wiener, San Francisco Democrat.

The bill includes other legal, FDA approved vaccines for that age group. Opponents will be fighting against established legal precedents. "Twelve year olds, already today, go in and receive an HPV or Hepatitis B vaccine without their parents being there. They can receive reproductive health care including abortion and birth control on their own They can receive mental health care," said Wiener. 

Co-sponsor, Senator Richard Pan, MD is also a practicing pediatrician. "I'm a parent of teenagers. I want my children to be able to protect themselves," said Senator Pan.

Senator Wiener brought in teens who are in groups advocating teen vaccine self choice. "We deserve to protect ourselves and those around us from death and disability and, to so many of us, that means getting vaccinated," said Cady. "Because they can't get the vaccine, teens live in fear of isolation. Not only may they infect their grandparents, younger siblings, but even themselves; potentially missing school, friends and family," said Arin. 

SEE ALSO: Preteens may be vaxed without parents under California bill

"As someone who was 12 this past October, a lot of kids my age grow up fast. We're exposed to so much that we're old enough to have a safe zone where something will benefit us," said Nyla. "School districts currently operating in an in-person format have experienced numerous outbreaks over these past two weeks resulting in thousands of students been sent home for days at a time and creating a significant backsliding in quality of education," said Saandi.

If passed, the bill would have effect January first of next year.