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Democratic state lawmaker pushing bill that would let kids as young as 14 get vaccinated without parental permission

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

A Democratic Pennsylvania state senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow children as young as 14 to receive vaccinations for COVID-19 without parental permission, KDKA-TV reported.

What are the details?

The sponsor of the bill is Amanda Cappelletti of Montgomery County, and she said she met a teenager at a recent vaccine clinic who wanted the shot but that his parents were not there to give their consent, the station reported

KDKA said that's when she began looking into the legal rights for children 14 and older when it comes to vaccines. State law says people under 18 years of age need parental permission to get any vaccine, the station noted.

Cappelletti told KDKA that 14 is not too young to make such a decision.

"I think that we underestimate the maturity and intelligence of young people," she said.

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

She added to the station that "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."

KDKA spoke to two young sisters and their mother at a clinic at Imani Christian Academy in Pittsburgh, and they all were in favor of getting the shots.

One of the sisters, Amber Taylor, told the station, "It makes sense to get it instead of risking everything without it."

Their mother added to KDKA, "It was a no-brainer after I got my vaccine."


However, the CEO of the school where the clinic in question was being held had a different opinion.

"I'd be reluctant," Paulo Nzambi told the station. "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."

Image source: KDKA-TV video screenshot

Anything else?

KDKA said Cappelletti hopes to introduce her bill in Harrisburg in about a month — but then it has to pass muster with Republicans who control the state legislature before it can even come to a vote.

That same GOP-controlled body got a big win last month after voters decided to make it easier for it to limit the emergency powers of the governor — in this case, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who's butted heads with Republicans over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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