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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Parents' choice: To vax or not to vax

Washington, D.C. won't enforce a vaccine mandate for students 12 and older (including remote students): The "no shots, no school" policy would have "barred 40 percent of the city's black teens from getting an education," writes Reason's Nick Gillespie. The policy was "pushed back until January 2023, but it's still on the books, lurking like a bully at the far end of the hallway."

A proposed California law that would have allowed teenagers 15 and older to be vaccinated without parents' knowledge or consent has been dropped, reports Elizabeth Aguilera on CalMatters.

"SB 866 did nothing more than empower young people to protect their own health, even if their parents have been brain-washed by anti-vax propaganda or are abusive or neglectful,” said State Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat. He originally wanted to vaccinate students 12 and older without parental consent, but couldn't get the votes even when he raised the age to 15, writes Aguilera.

The state already allows minors, as young as 12, to get vaccinations against sexually transmitted diseases, and children of reproductive age can get birth control or an abortion without their parents’ consent. Otherwise, under state law, a child needs parental permission to be vaccinated.

Some European countries no longer vaccinate young males -- or skip the second shot -- because they believe the risk of heart complications outweighs the benefits. U.S. health officials disagree. Shouldn't parents get to decide?

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