Los Angeles, CA

What New Family Crisis is the Delta Variant and Additional COVID Cases Creating?


Parents and Teens Conflict Over the Issue of Vaccination Still a Problem

Teen vaccinationPhoto Credit: Canva.com

Los Angeles is only one of the counties in California where the Delta variant is running rampant. But besides the virus itself being a genuine cause for alarm, there is also a new issue to be concerned about.T

he issue has to do with the growing problem of family and household disunity, as a direct result of the overall COVID situation. A recent case in the local news helps to explain what is currently going on in many homes across the nation.

The disturbing report discussed a teenager under the age of 18, who wanted desperately to get the vaccine, but his parents were against it.

Since the young man is a minor, he is bound by the laws of the state, which allow his parents the right to make this serious decision about their son's future health.

As you might imagine, this situation created a difficult dilemma for these parents, who felt they had no choice but to disregard what their son wanted. Apparently, knowing they had the young man's best interests at heart was little consolation, to them or to him.

There is no doubt that this same scenario will continue to play out in households everywhere, as more and more COVID cases keep cropping up. Young people appear to be the most vulnerable to the Delta variant, so the issue of a parent's right to make decisions about getting vaccinated may soon start to come into question.

Parent Versus Teen Rights

Any rational person can understand both sides of the issue, when considering whose rights should take priority. But when you're a parent, sometimes rational goes out the window. Most parents cringe at the thought of anyone stepping in to overturn the decisions they make for their children; especially the government or similar authority.

The parents in this case, for whatever their reason or belief system, made a decision concerning their son, just like they'd been doing for the young man’s entire life.

But there are those who would argue that this situation is one that merits the teenager's rights be taken into account, and he be allowed to make the decision for himself.

There's no denying that there is a good deal of logic in this perspective as well. The question is: Teenager or not, should this young man have something to say about his own medical situation? Shouldn't he be allowed to be in control of his own body, or at least to some extent?

The answer isn't as cut and dry as it seems, especially since we're not talking about a 13 or 14 year-old, with no real knowledge about what's at stake. The young man in question is 17 years old, and adulthood is just around the corner for him.

Based on the reporting, he had armed himself with lots of knowledge about the virus, and understood the impact it is currently having on on younger individuals like him.

The rising cases and teens being hospitalized in Los Angeles is a problem that does not appear to be going away anytime soon. Since June, 2021, the Kaiser Family Foundation calculated 1 out of 4 teens between the ages of 16–18 had not been vaccinated. That means a lot of young people are still very susceptible to the Delta variant, a strain that is more contagious (if not more dangerous) than the original Covid-19 virus.

Alarmed Teens Take Action

This problem of teens and parents on opposite sides of the vaccine issue is a growing one. It is definitely something that is hitting home with a lot of teens, so much so, that they have created a website to help young people address the issue.

The website is called Vax Teen, and their mission, as it is stated on the homepage of the site is:

“Young people taking responsibility for their own health to put an end to preventable diseases.”

The site provides all types of details about the corona virus, and vaccination information as well. Their efforts to help teens make informed decisions about getting the vaccination doesn’t stop there.

For young people who may be experiencing pressure at home over the issue, they even have chat boxes available on the site, for role-playing scenarios, to help teens talk to and convince their families on this issue.

Concluding Thoughts

It's hard not to feel for families and households who are being split apart over this issue. It is especially troublesome to think about teens who may have to make this decision, at such a crucial time in their lives. Many of them could possibly risk losing the love and support of their families over this conflict.

The teens that were interviewed provided some helpful tips to other teenagers who may be confronted with the question of getting vaccinated for COVID, against their parent’s wishes.

The advice and tips offered are meant to help teens have a positive and meaningful discussion about this serious medical decision, instead of arguing or blowing up over the issue.

  • Keep a cool, calm head when discussing the subject of Corona and vaccinations.
  • Use the approach that is best suited to your parents, based on your knowledge of them and their dispositions. [No one size fits all approach]
  • Make a power point presentation of the valid reasons to get vaccinated [One teen compared it to the argument she made to convince her parents to get her a puppy]
  • Don’t give up

While the teens have a very valid argument, it's still hard not to sympathize with parents who have made the difficult decision to not have their young ones vaccinated.

If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, it may be wise to consider the teenagers who are just about ready to leave the nest very soon. This should cause parents to really think about whether or not they are prepared to damage their relationship with their teens over this issue.

Hopefully, this material may help parents recognize that their teens are not just being rebellious and they truly understand the scope of what's at risk. Perhaps some parents will reconsider, or at least revisit the issue, when they realize the issue of getting vaccinated is equally important to their teenager.

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Charm Baker is a longtime freelance writer and self-published author. She resides in Los Angeles California and enjoys writing about current affairs, cultural events, social injustice and discussions about social change. She is a prolific writer, and works hard to provide only the best quality content.

Los Angeles, CA

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