Bill proposes allowing 12-year-olds to get vaccines without parental consent

Controversy over proposed kids vaccine bill
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:22 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 12:58 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Among the bills that were proposed in this year’s legislative session was one that would give children ages 12 and older the right to get vaccines, even if their parents don’t agree.

The bill was proposed by Democrat Rep. Kevin Ryan, who represents the state’s 139th District of Bozrah, Montville and Norwich.

It was officially labeled as Bill No. 5480 and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.

It was described as “an act allowing children 12 years of age and older to receive a vaccination without the consent of a parent or guardian.”

Ryan’s bill called for the general statutes to be amended to give those children the power to make their own decisions on the matter.

It has sparked lots of reaction.

Parents Eyewitness News spoke to feel it goes too far.

“I don’t think 12-year-olds do have that mental capacity to be making their own decision,” said Nicole Malley, a Bristol parent.

Nicole is one of a few parents we heard from who don’t think 12-year-olds should get a vaccine without their parents’ permission.

She said her kids have gotten their childhood vaccines but feels it’s up to parents to make that call.

Rep. Ryan has proposed a bill that would allow kids as young as 12 to get vaccines such as COVID and HPV without parental consent.

Currently, parents must give either written or verbal permission.

Ryan said he proposed this on behalf of a constituent and: “As their representative, it’s my duty to express their requests and ensure their concerns have been taken seriously, especially on a health care issue.”

The Republican Minority Leader in the House feels this is more than an overreach.

“It’s a road that Connecticut keeps trying to push, the Democrats keep pushing this issue and I think it’s really important to have parents involved in their child’s lives so I find the proposal very disturbing,” said Rep. Vinnie Candelora.

More than 3000 bills are proposed every year and a vast majority don’t even make it to a hearing.

It will be up to the Public Health Committee whether this proposal goes forward.

Proposal to allow vaccines without parental consent
There are mixed reviews amongst parents that think a 12-year-old is too young to make a decision about vaccinations.