Connecticut bill would let children as young as 12 get vaccines without parental consent

18 January 2023

A bill introduced to the Connecticut state legislature on Tuesday would allow children ages 12 and older to receive vaccines without a parent’s approval.

The bill, proposed by state Rep. Kevin Ryan (D), would amend Connecticut’s general statute and allow a child 12 years or older to get a vaccine without the consent of their parent or guardian, if passed. The bill was referred back to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health on Tuesday.

In Connecticut, a child under the age of 18 needs verbal or written consent of a parent or guardian to receive general medical care, including vaccines.

Washington D.C., passed a similar law in 2021 that allowed a child who is at least 11 years old receive a vaccine without a parent or guardian’s consent. Other states have varying minor health care consent laws; for example, a child in Oregon who is at least 15 years can consent to medical care, including immunizations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this month that childhood vaccinations fell in the 2021-2022 school year again, saying that coverage for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was the lowest in a decade, and that coverage for other vaccines, including chickenpox and polio, was also on the decline.

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