All people under 18 still need parental approval to get vaccinated

Written by on June 3, 2021

All people under 18 still need parental approval to get vaccinated

By Julia Zenkevich / WESA

June 3, 2021

(AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in people as young as 12 in May.

In Pennsylvania, kids under 18 must have parental consent for many health care services, including vaccinations. 

Michael Deem, an assistant professor at Duquesne University’s School of Nursing and Center for Global Health Ethics, in Pittsburgh, says teens who want the vaccine should talk to their parents about it.

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“The balance of values seems to tip in favor of allowing adolescents, particularly more mature adolescents, so we’re thinking about 14 or older, who are well informed about the vaccine risks and benefits,to get that vaccine without parental consent,” Deem says.

New legislation from state Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (D-Montgomery/Delaware) would allow people aged 14 and older to get any immunization recommended by the CDC without parental consent. 

She says the legislation isn’t just about vaccinations, but also respecting kids’ bodily autonomy.

“I think it’s important that we allow young people to start having those conversations and making those decisions,” Cappelletti says. 

The legislation is likely to be introduced by the end of June. 

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