A California measure that would allow children age 12 and up to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent, including against the coronavirus, has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
If the proposal becomes law, California would allow the youngest age group of any state to be vaccinated without parental permission.
Minors age 12 to 17 in California currently cannot be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardians, unless the vaccine is specifically to prevent a sexually transmitted disease. California state law already allows people 12 and older to consent to the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.
The bill that cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday 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.
Democratic Sen. 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 for well over an hour.
Persons 12 and older currently can make decisions under certain circumstances, including for sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and birth control, along with substance abuse and mental health disorders, according to Wiener.