CA state senate passing a bill that allows 12 year old children in California to get vaccinated without their parents' consent or knowledge.
The California measure cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday of this week, and if the proposal becomes law, California would allow the youngest age group of any state to be vaccinated without parental permission. Minors ranging from 12 to 17 in California currently are unable receive vaccinations without permission from their parents or guardians, unless the vaccine is specifically to prevent a sexually transmitted disease. California state law currently allows people 12 and older to consent to the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.
Democratic Senator Scott Wiener said his bill “will empower teenagers to protect their own health by getting vaccinated,” but it was opposed by dozens of people who called into the committee hearing. Republican Senator Melissa Melendez speaks out in opposition to the bill.
“If the parents don’t know the child got the vaccination, how would they know to keep an eye out for it, to watch for it,” said Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore. “How would they tell a caretaker to watch out for these symptoms? They wouldn’t know that. I think it’s unfair, unreasonable for any parent out there that just wants to keep their child safe.”
Supporters of the bill believe that teens in California already have the ability to consent to other medical treatments like birth control and mental health, so the vaccine should be included in their medical choices. Other states like Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oregon, Washington D.C. and Alabama allow teens to get vaccinated without parental approval.