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Connecticut law will allow children as young as 12 to receive vaccines without parental consent

A bill introduced in the Connecticut legislature on Tuesday would allow children aged 12 and older to receive vaccines without parental approval.

The bill, proposed by State Representative Kevin Ryan (D-), would amend Connecticut’s general charter to allow a child 12 years of age or older to receive the vaccine without the consent of their parent or guardian, if passed. On Tuesday, the bill was returned to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health.

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

In 2021, Washington, D.C. passed a similar law allowing a child at least 11 years of age to receive the vaccine without the consent of a parent or guardian. Other states have different health care consent laws for minors; for example, a child in Oregon who is 15 years of age or older can consent to medical care, including vaccinations.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that childhood vaccinations for the 2021-2022 school year fell again, saying that measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine coverage was the lowest in a decade, and coverage for other vaccines, including including the incidence of chickenpox and poliomyelitis has also declined.

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