Pittsburgh, PA

Democratic state senator sponsors bill to let teenagers get vaccines without parents’ consent; pushback from Pittsburgh

Amy Christie

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A Democratic state senator is sponsoring a bill that would let kids as young as 14 get their COVID-19 vaccines in Pennsylvania without parental permission, as reported by KDKA-TV. The move has been criticized by a school CEO from Pittsburgh.

How did it all happen?

Amanda Cappelletti of Montgomery County is the sponsor of the bill. She shared with the news outlet how she met a teenager at a vaccine clinic who wanted to get immunized but whose parents were not there to give consent.

The station also reported that the starting point for the bill was precisely that moment. The senator began looking into the legal rights for children 14 and older where vaccines are concerned. According to state law, people under 18 need to have their parents’ permission to receive any vaccine, the station pointed out.

However, Cappelletti shared with KDKA that 14 is not too soon to be able to make that type of decision.

“I think that we underestimate the maturity and intelligence of young people,” the senator said.
“A lot of states do have some different and better laws, if you ask me as a public health professional, allowing young people to learn about what's happening to their body, and then make the decision in concert with their doctor,” she added.

The news station also interviewed a mother and her two young daughters at a clinic located at Imani Christian Academy in Pittsburgh and they were all in favor of having the vaccine.

“It makes sense to get it instead of risking everything without it,” one of the sisters said. “It was a no-brainer after I got my vaccine,” the mother added.

Any negative reactions?

The CEO of the school where the clinic was located had a very different take on the issue.

“I'd be reluctant. And I don't know if the public would be ready to receive an opportunity where really people who are critical to the development and the nurturing of a child were left out of that decision-making process,” Paulo Nzambi said for the news station.

Despite the pushback from Pittsburgh, KDKA revealed Cappelletti hopes to introduce her bill in about a month.

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