One parent says yes – get the vaccine, while the other is adamantly against it. Teens are struggling with this and are seeking ways to be vaccinated without their parents’ consent.
Teenagers keep all sorts of secrets from their parents. Drinking. Sex. Lousy grades. But the secret that Mary, 17, a rising high-school senior, keeps from her parents is new to the list of adolescent sneaks. She doesn’t want her parents to know that she is vaccinated against Covid-19. Her divorced parents have equal say over her health care. Although her mother strongly favors the vaccine, her father angrily opposes it and has threatened to sue her mother if Elizabeth gets the shot. Elizabeth is keeping her secret not only from her father, but also her mother, so her mom can have plausible deniability.
This is a struggle happening in many households and causes a question of medical ethics. Can children make their own health decisions regarding the coronavirus? Can they get vaccinated without their parents’ consent?
Currently, 40 states require parental consent for people under 18 to receive the COVID vaccine. However, several states like New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, have changed their views on whether or not parental permission is needed. This view is being taken because the COVID vaccine is an emergency measure.
Parents are a bit reluctant to have their child vaccinated against COVID 19. A recent Harris Poll finds that roughly 1 in 4 do not want their child vaccinated, and about 10% of parents only want a one-dose shot for their child.
The government and medical professionals say it is important for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated and continue social distancing and other preventive measures.