Riordan Roundtable: Bill seeks to circumvent parental permission for vaccine


John McQuaid 22’, Managing Editor









On Jan. 21, California Senator Scott Weiner put forth Bill 866, called the Teens Choose Vaccines Act, which would give minors age 12 and up the ability to consent to becoming vaccinated without parental permission.

Should this bill be passed, any person 12 or older would be able to independently choose to receive any vaccine currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA.

A bill like this is not unprecedented, as Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, and Rhode Island already have similar laws, differing mainly in the minimum age requirement to make such decisions.

Furthermore, allowing teenagers to take their vaccination status into their own hands will likely lead to many of roughly 900,000 unvaccinated 12- to 17-year-olds getting vaccinated.

More importantly, however, this bill stops parents from preventing their teenagers from protecting themselves. When parents fail to protect their children, something must be done, especially when protecting their children is as easy as getting a single shot.

Arguments that this bill is meant to “remove parents from the equation,” (as Assemblyman James Gallagher claims) are simultaneously correct and ridiculous.

Of course the bill is meant to remove parents from the equation—the parents it is removing from the equation are not doing their job to protect their children, who could end up seriously ill or even dead. Why would anyone not want their children to have a way to prevent that?

What this bill does is protect young people in California. That’s it. Go read the bill for yourself, and understand both sides in order to keep yourself and those around you safe and informed.