How Vaccine Self-Consent Laws Can Help Teens With Anti-Vax Parents

Photo by Monkey Business Images (Shutterstock)All teens can now be vaccinated with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. However, some teenagers are unable to get vaccinated because their parents have not consented. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that only 33% of parents would immediately get their children vaccinated. Nearly one in four parents surveyed said that they wouldn't get their child vaccinated right away. Others parents preferred to wait and watch. What can a teenager who is eager to get vaccinated do?AdvertisementAlthough this isn't new, it feels new due to the urgency and the stakes for children, stated Cora Breuner, who is a Seattle pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are all aware of the difficulties faced by some patients when their parents don't agree to vaccinate them.Many teenagers see getting vaccinated as a way for them to live a normal life and protect their family members. What are the options for teenagers who want to be vaccinated but don't have permission from their parents?Teenagers have limited options, but there are many strategies they can use to try to get their parents to vaccinate their is a website that helps teens to sell vaccines to their parents.After realizing that many of her peers did not know their rights regarding vaccine consent, Kelly Danielpour, a L.A. teenager, created to address the difficulties teens face in getting vaccinated when their parents aren't on board. According to Danielpour, we automatically refer to parents but not teens as having opinions about this issue.VaxTeen provides information for teens about vaccines. It also offers resources to help parents educate their children on the importance of vaccinations. This information includes CDC vaccine guides, tips on how to talk with parents about vaccinations, and information about the many myths and misconceptions surrounding vaccine safety.Breuners advises teens to approach their vaccine-reluctant parents with open minds and an open mind. She also suggests that they be willing to listen to their fears and concerns while proving the vaccines safe. She said that the data was very clear.AdvertisementIt is important to recognize that parents' fears are based on their desire for the best for their child. Breuner recommends that parents engage with their concerns and questions with an open mind. She said that families are coming in with a lot of questions. These are valid questions. She tries to answer their questions as best she can to address their root concerns.She recommends that teenagers with hesitant parents find someone to help them, such as a trusted community leader or their pediatrician. This is because appealing to authority can often be the best way to convince them to change their mind. Breuner suggested that parents should find reasons to get their children vaccinated.AdvertisementSelf-consent laws for research vaccinesVaxTeen provides educational materials as well as detailed information state-by-state on vaccine consent laws. Teenagers may be able to give their consent in some states. In others they will need to convince their parents or wait.AdvertisementEach state has its own rules regarding parental consent when minors are vaccinated. All vaccines require parental consent for young children. The laws change as they enter their teens. Only five states allow exemptions for children aged 12-15 years. In North Carolina, teens can get vaccinated at their own risk. They can also do it without consent from parents; in Tennessee and Alabama, 14-year-olds are allowed; in Oregon, 15-years old is the minimum age; Iowa, however, allows the doctor to decide. There are many exceptions for teenagers who turn 16 in some states, but the details vary greatly.Teenagers who wish to be vaccinated but do not have parental consent can feel like they don't have control over their lives and bodies. Despite the fact that this is a difficult situation, teens still have options. They can try to get their parents consent or give their consent if it is legal in their area.