A proposed bill in the Connecticut state legislature would allow children ages 12 and over to receive vaccines without parental consent.
State Representative Kevin Ryan, a Democrat, introduced the legislation on Tuesday. The measure, Bill No. 5480, is “an act allowing children 12 years of age and older to receive a vaccination without the consent of a parent or guardian.”
Ryan told WFSB that his proposal is a response to concerns raised by a constituent.
“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,” Ryan told the local station.
The bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health, which will decide whether the measure advances to a floor vote.
Under current law, the age of consent for vaccination in the state is 18. Children under the age of 18 need verbal or written consent from a parent or guardian to receive vaccines.
Washington, D.C., passed a law in 2021 allowing children 11 years of age and older to receive a vaccine without a parent or guardian’s approval. However, a federal judge blocked the law in March 2022 after finding it violates religious liberty and inhibits a parent’s ability to monitor their children for adverse side effects. The D.C. Council then passed a more targeted measure in June 2022 in an effort to avoid legal challenges.
The new D.C. legislation allows certain minors to get vaccines recommended by the CDC without the consent of a parent of guardian, including minors who are emancipated or unaccompanied homeless youth. A minor can consent to receiving a vaccine if a vaccine provider makes a reasonable attempt to notify a parent or legal guardian first, under the second law.