On Thursday, California lawmakers amended legislation that would have allowed preteens to be vaccinated against a myriad of health conditions without any parental consent. The lawmakers instead increased the proposed minimum age to 15, but it would still be among the youngest in the country.
Currently, minors between 12 and 17 in California cannot receive the vaccination without parental consent, other than for those that prevent sexually transmitted diseases. The state law already lets people 12 and older consent by themselves to the vaccines against Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
The said legislation passed the state Senate in May on a 21-8 vote, which would have allowed minors age 12 and up to receive any type of vaccine as long as it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include vaccines against COVID-19, even if their parents wouldn’t allow it. Before the amendment, the said legislation would have pushed for the youngest age of consent across the country.
According to Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley via Twitter, the bill was “nowhere close” to getting the 41 votes it needed to pass the assembly.
Spokesperson Catie Stewart representing Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, who authored the bill, mentioned that supporters of the California legislation were close to having the needed votes, but “it wasn’t a slam dunk.”
“We think that this will help make it easier,” she went on to say. “And we think the majority of the people who will use, who will take advantage of this are going to be 15 to 18, so we thought it was a good compromise.”
The amendment to the measure will not change the already-established age of consent for vaccines against sexually transmitted diseases.