California lawmakers on Thursday (June 16) amended a bill that would have let preteens be vaccinated against a range of health conditions without their parents’ consent, instead raising the proposed minimum age to 15, which would still be among the youngest in the U.S.
Currently, minors age 12 to 17 in California cannot be vaccinated without permission from their parents or guardians, except for vaccinations to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. 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 state Senate last month on a 21-8 vote would have allowed those age 12 and up to receive any vaccine that has been approved by the U.S. FDA and CDC, including against COVID-19, even if their parents objected. It would have been the youngest age of consent in any state.
Alabama allows children to consent to vaccines starting at age 14, Oregon at 15 and Rhode Island and South Carolina at 16. Cities including Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., allow children age 11 and up to consent to COVID-19 vaccines, and in San Francisco the age is 12 and older.