Your child may be rebelling against you by getting the COVID-19 vaccine without telling you.
That’s the case for some children and parents across the country, according to The New York Times. Teenagers who want to be vaccinated are sneaking off to get their jabs, even though their parents aren’t on board with the idea.
And this raising a number of ethical questions — can children make their own health decisions when it comes to the coronavirus? Are children allowed to get vaccinated without their parents’ permission?
There are some laws to work through, too. Right now, 40 states require parental consent for vaccination for people under 18 years old. But states like New York, New Jersey and Minnesota, as well as the District of Columbia, have changed their tune on whether or not you need parental permission.
“We may be in a legal gray zone with this vaccine,” said Dr. Sterling Ransone Jr., a family physician in Deltaville, Virginia, told The New York Times.
This is because “a parent can send a signed consent form for a teenager to be vaccinated. But because the COVID vaccine is authorized only for emergency use, the health system requires a parent to be present for a patient under 18 to get that shot,” according to The New York Times.
Parents don’t seem fully onboard with getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19 right now. A recent Harris poll finds that about 1 in 4 parents don’t want to get their child vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. And about 10% of parents only want their child to have one dose of a two-dose vaccine, according to Forbes. That means that those children might not even have full protection.
Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and CNN medical analyst, recently told CNN that parents should get their children vaccinated when they’re allowed to do so (right now, only children 12 years and older can receive shots from Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
“Having parents vaccinated is an important step to reducing risk, even if children are not yet vaccinated, but there are still steps that must be taken to protect the kids — and everyone around us — from COVID-19,” she told CNN.