New DC Law Would Give Vaccine Decisions to 11 Year Olds Without Parental Consent

By Joseph Jankowski

A bill traveling through the District of Columbia’s legislature would give children as young as 11 years old the ability to make decisions on being vaccinated, while removing the need for parental consent entirely.

Bill 23-171 allows children as young as 11 years old to consent to taking any vaccine recommended by the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the group which assists the Centers for Disease Control in developing childhood immunization schedules.

It would also let the school, health care provider, and the parent’s private insurance conceal the child’s vaccination from parents or guardians who would have no knowledge of the procedure unless the child told them.

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According to the bill, “a minor shall be deemed meeting the informed consent standard if the minor is able to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care.” In other words, young children can simply be persuaded by a vaccine administrator’s advice and receive an inoculation.

To aide in the process, the D.C. Department of Health will provide “age-appropriate” vaccine information sheets to minors to support providers in the informed consent process.

D.C. council member Mary Cheh, the bill’s primary sponsor, said in an Oct. 7 meeting that taking away the “barriers” of parental consent in childhood vaccinations was an important measure considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given our ongoing pandemic and the incredible work being done to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s more important than ever I think that we reduce any and all barriers to these treatments,” Cheh said. “And this legislation aims to do just that by increasing access to vaccines for minors who choose to get vaccinated but have not been able to do so.”

The lone voice of dissent on the council, Trayon White, urged members against taking such a step.

“Medical practitioners, schools, and others should not be permitted to coerce or press minors into procedures that are capable of causing injury or death, behind their parents back,” he said.

The legality of such a measure is up in the air, according to Dawn Richardson, director of advocacy of the National Vaccine Information Center, who told the Epoch Times that the “negligent, predatorial, and criminal” bill may contravene Supreme Court precedent that puts a parent or guardian at the center of the decision-making process for their child.

Richardson says it’s wrong to allow an 11-year-old child to “take a biological pharmaceutical product, that is something that could cause injury and death, and has federal protection to protect the provider and the manufacturer from any liability.”

Currently, the bill is it set for a final vote on November 17th that will decide if it makes its way to the mayor’s desk for a signature.

The measure to cut off parental consent for child vaccinations is a par for the course move for the progressive D.C. where minors over the age of 12 can already consent without a parent to contraceptive services, prenatal care, and abortions.

Source: Planet Free Will

Joseph Jankowski is an Editor-at-Large for Planet Free Will. His works have been published by major news publications such as and

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