NATIONAL NEWS

Kids age 12 and up can be vaxed without parents under California bill

Jan 21, 2022, 10:35 AM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:41 pm
FILE PHOTO: DETROIT, MI - APRIL 06: A group of teenagers serving as 'Covid-19 Student Ambassadors' ...
FILE PHOTO: DETROIT, MI - APRIL 06: A group of teenagers serving as 'Covid-19 Student Ambassadors' joined Governor Gretchen Whitmer to receive a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field during an event to promote and encourage Michigan residents to go and get their vaccines on April 6, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. As the US reaches a milestone in vaccinations, a surge of new Covid-19 cases has swept through the US with Michigan seeing the highest numbers of new cases. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent, the youngest age of any state, under a proposal late Thursday by a state senator.

Alabama allows such decisions at age 14, Oregon at 15, Rhode Island and South Carolina at 16, according to Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco who is proposing the change. Only Washington, D.C., has a lower limit, at age 11.

Wiener argued that California already allows those 12 and up to consent to the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and to treatment for sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse and mental health disorders.

“Giving young people the autonomy to receive life-saving vaccines, regardless of their parents’ beliefs or work schedules, is essential for their physical and mental health,” he said. “It’s unconscionable for teens to be blocked from the vaccine because a parent either refuses or cannot take their child to a vaccination site.”

Currently in California, minors ages 12 to 17 cannot be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardian, unless the vaccine is specifically to prevent a sexually transmitted disease.

Wiener’s bill would lift the parental requirement for that age group for any vaccine that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That includes immunizations against the coronavirus, but Wiener said vaccine hesitancy and misinformation has also deterred vaccinations against measles and other contagious diseases that can then spread among youths whose parents won’t agree to have them vaccinated.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom in October announced the nation’s first coronavirus vaccine mandate for schoolchildren. 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 legislation is permissive, not a mandate, but any vaccination legislation has been hugely controversial in California and elsewhere.

Even before the pandemic, busloads of opponents filled the Capital and lined up for hours to protest bills lifting religious and personal beliefs for the 10 vaccines already required of school children.

And in September, more than a thousand people rallied outside the state Capitol to oppose vaccine mandates, even though lawmakers had postponed their consideration of legislation requiring that workers either be vaccinated or get weekly coronavirus testing to keep their jobs.

“This to me seems to be another example of Democrats wanting to remove parents from the equation,” said Republican Assemblyman James Gallagher. “I think that’s flawed policy. I think parents are vital to these decisions.”

However, he thinks Wiener may have difficulty even in a Legislature overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats.

“I think there will be bipartisan support for the proposition that parents should be involved in their kids’ health care decisions, in deciding what types of medical care and drugs they should be taking,” Gallagher said.

On Wednesday, Wiener and other Democratic lawmakers announced that they have formed a “work group” to examine ways to promote vaccines and fight misinformation.

Members include Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician who authored previous vaccine legislation; Sen. Josh Newman; and Assembly members Dr. Akilah Weber, Buffy Wicks, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, and Evan Low.

Wiener, joined by Pan, planned a news conference about his SB866 Friday alongside San Francisco’s public health director, Dr. Grant Colfax, and several school children.

Wiener held out the examples of children who may want to get vaccinated because they currently are barred from participating in sports, band or other activities because their parents either won’t or can’t get them vaccinated.

Children age 5 and up are currently eligible for coronavirus vaccines, but 28.6% of those in California ages 12-17 remain unvaccinated — more than 900,000 of an eligible population of more than 3 million, or more than one in four, Wiener said.

He said those 12 and up can also consent to abortions in California, though in that case lawmakers in 1987 passed a law that would have required minors to get their parents’ consent absent a medical emergency or a judge’s permission. But that law was overturned by the state Supreme Court.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Porfirio Duarte-Herrera (Nevada)...
Associated Press

Police arrest convicted Vegas bombmaker who escaped prison

Police say they have arrested a convicted bombmaker who escaped from a Nevada prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip.
11 hours ago
Wind gusts rake over a downed tree in Sarasota, Florida as Hurricane Ian churns to the south on Sep...
CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press

People trapped, 2.5M without power as Ian drenches Florida

Hurricane Ian has left a path of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and knocking out power to 2.5 million people.
11 hours ago
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: The Coolio set during Groovin The Moo 2019 on April 28, 2019 in Can...
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper, dead at 59

Coolio, the '90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage," has died.
1 day ago
Pictured here is Gulfshore Boulevard. (City of Naples via CNN)...
Caroll Alvarado and Christina Maxouris, CNN

Floating cars, submerged buildings, no power: Floridians describe Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian, which made landfall as a Category 4 storm a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday along Florida's southwestern coast, has been battering coastal communities for hours.
1 day ago
Hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Inmate serving life for fatal Vegas bombing escapes prison

Authorities are searching for a 42-year-old convicted bombmaker who escaped from a Nevada prison where he was serving a life sentence for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort. Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered an investigation into the incident late Tuesday after he said his office learned the escapee had been missing from the medium-security prison since early in the weekend. Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was convicted in 2010 of killing the boyfriend of his co-defendant's ex-girlfriend using a motion-activated coffee cup bomb placed atop a car parked at the Luxor hotel-casino. The blast initially raised fears of a terrorist attack on the Strip.
1 day ago
FILE: The life expectancy of dogs can be six to 12 times shorter than humans....
Megan Marples, CNN

Dogs can smell when humans are stressed, study suggests

Dogs can smell the difference between odors from humans when they're stressed and when they're calm, according to a study.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Kids age 12 and up can be vaxed without parents under California bill