YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Senator Amanda Cappelletti wants to introduce a bill that would give teens 14 to 17 the ability to decide if they want the Covid-19 vaccine.
Usually, that decision is up to the parents.
She said in a statement in part:
“By lowering the age of consent for age-appropriate, CDC recommended vaccinations, we accomplish multiple goals, including aligning Pennsylvania policy with many other states. Young people learn about affirmative consent and bodily autonomy. They learn how to have conversations with their primary care physicians. We can better address vaccine hesitancy. Hopefully, it results in higher vaccination rates, providing better protection for ourselves and the vulnerable people around us who, medically, cannot be vaccinated.“
Some people I spoke to said they wouldn’t be opposed to letting their children decide if they want the vaccine or not.
“I would give him the opportunity to decide whether or not he would want the shot after he would speak to his doctor," said Jennifer Runkle.
"You’re more conscious and you gain the opinion to be like ‘no this is what I want for myself. So if kids want to do that, especially at that age, I feel like they should be more than welcomed to do so," said Maria Cruz.
However, they do say that the bill’s start age in which teens could be allowed to choose if they want the Covid-19 vaccine is a little bit too young.
“Normally, 16 to 17 I would say. You know, it’s a good age for children to decide a little bit of what they want to do with their bodies. but 14, I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel about that," said Runkle.
“Just a little bit too young to fully grasp the concept of what is needed as far as you know, healthwise," said Cruz.
Pennsylvania law already allows minors age 14 and over to consent to inpatient mental health treatment.
Senator Cappelletti wants to mirror that bill with Covid-19 vaccines.