The Washington D.C. City Council advanced a bill last week that removes the parental-consent requirement for recommended vaccines for children as young as 11 years old.
The “Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act” passed in the D.C. Council on Friday by a 12-to-1 vote. Under the proposal, a child can receive a vaccine without permission from their parents or legal guardians if a doctor determines that a minor is “capable of meeting the informed consent standard.”
“A child needs to be protected against the dangers of things like measles, other diseases that cause death, and the community needs to be protected so that diseases that were once thought to be eliminated are not coming back,” Council member Mary Cheh said last week during a press conference.
Cheh introduced the bill in March 2019.
Under the bill, doctors can bill insurers directly and send vaccination records to the child’s school “if the parent is utilizing a religious exemption.”
Trayon White Sr., the only council member to vote against the bill, objected to the bill because he believes age 11 is too young to make an independent medical decision.
“Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children,” White said, adding that vaccines can be dangerous. White, who has a 12-year-old child, cited the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to argue the point.
The bill will need to be passed a second time by the Council, and then signed by Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser in order to become law.