Parents fight Calif. bill allowing preteens get vaxxed without consent

Coronavirus

(NewsNation Now) A group of moms that hopes to discourage compliance with California’s K-12 vaccine mandate is raising concerns about a proposed bill that would allow children 12 years and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine without a parent’s consent.

Currently in California, minors ages 12 to 17 can’t be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardians, unless the vaccine is specifically to prevent a sexually transmitted disease. Parental consent laws for vaccinations vary by state and region, and a few places such as Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., allow kids 11 and up, and in San Francisco 12 and older, to consent to their own COVID-19 vaccines.

A bill by Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener 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. If the bill passes, California would allow the youngest age of any state to be vaccinated without parental permission.

Opposing the bill is a non-profit called The Unity Project, which has partnered with a “parental rights” organization called Moms for Liberty. During an appearance Monday on NewsNation’s “Morning in America,” the Unity Project’s CEO Laura Sextro and President Parisa Fishback said the proposed bill is being used to “usurp the parents’ rights.”

“I find it to be astonishing that you would give a 12-year-old the ability to make a decision that can potentially impact irrevocably their life forever.”

In a statement that Weiner sent to NewsNation, the senator said it’s “unconscionable” for a child to be blocked from receiving the vaccine because their parent doesn’t consent or is unable to take them to a vaccination site.

“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,” Weiner said.

The CDC has recommended that every person five years and older receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Although Fishbacker stated Monday that “the virus itself presents statistically zero risk to these children,” the CDC reports that there have been nearly 2 million cases of COVID-19 in children aged five to 11 years old.

As of mid-October 2021, children within that same age group experienced more than 8,300 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and nearly 100 deaths from COVID-19. The virus ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death for children five to 11 years old, according to the CDC.

But according to Sextro, “forcing” children to receive a vaccine isn’t the answer.

“The reality is, unfortunately, in the state of California, parents are being put in a position where they have to choose between having their children engage in basic developmental milestones, such as school and sporting events … or getting their children injected with a drug that is still actively experimental and has known and verifiable risks of vaccine injury as well as in some sad cases vaccine mortality,” she said.

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has received full FDA approval for people 16 years and older. It also has received emergency authorization to use in children ages five to 15 years old.

Scientists conducted clinical trials with thousands of children before COVID-19 vaccination was recommended for children and no serious safety concerns were identified, according to the CDC.

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