SACRAMENTO—A California bill allowing minors to receive any vaccine without parental consent passed through the state Senate May 12 in a 21–7 vote and is on its way to the state Assembly.
Senate Bill (SB) 866, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would allow minors 12 years and older to sidestep parental consent and receive a vaccine that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Sen. Sydney Kamalger (D-Los Angeles) acknowledged the desire of a parent to want to control their child’s life, but said that some guardians do not have their child’s best interest in mind and neglect or abuse them.
“There are some not looking out for the well-being of the children in their lives,” she said prior to voting in favor of the bill.
But Sen. Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) and her colleagues in opposition to the bill insisted that parents should make the medical decisions for their children.
“Where [are] our values pushing us to, to the point where we say parents are no longer necessary,” Ochoa Bogh said during the hearing. “Parents and guardians know their children best which is why they are currently required to furnish information about the child’s medical history, prior allergic reactions, and overall well-being” she said.
Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) further echoed her colleague to consider how a parent would know to look out for vaccine side effects if they were unaware their child received the jab.
“I think you’re not looking at the reality of the situation, which is this could actually cause very serious harm to children,” Melendez said.
The bill survives several other COVID-19 bills that were paused by their authors, including SB 871 by Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) which would have required all K–12 students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pan pulled the bill on April 14 claiming that the COVID-19 vaccination rates are “insufficient” among children as parents struggle to find the time and transportation to get their children vaccinated.