SB 866 by Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) to allow children ages 12 to 17 to take the COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent, just passed the California State Senate Thursday.
California legislators formed a “vaccine working group” earlier this year, claiming they wanted “to facilitate coordinated action and bring thoughtful, comprehensive approach to save lives.”
SB 866 was one of several bills introduced in the Legislature designed to increase vaccinations by Californians aged 18 or younger. However, as the number of COVID-19 cases in California drastically plummeted throughout the first several months of 2022, vaccine legislation efforts quickly lost steam. Support dried up as more scrutiny on the bills exposed mandates and the erosion of parental rights, in many cases.
But Sen. Wiener kept on with SB 866.
As Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute explained to the Globe in March, “This legislative body is relentless in their pursuit to strip away parental rights as they also fast-track SB 866, a bill that will give minors as young as 12 years-old the ability to consent to any FDA approved vaccination WITHOUT parental consent. This bill not only strips parents of their right to make important decisions regarding their child’s health, but it also places minors in a potentially dangerous situation. If a minor were to have an immediate adverse reaction to a vaccine, the parent would not know. Parents MUST be allowed to be the decision makers when it comes to the health of their children.”
Senator Melissa Melendez gave a passionate floor speech Thursday during Senate debate, centered on the government encroachment into parental rights. And then she spelled it out on Twitter:
Melendez, a mother of five, spoke about parental concerns over vaccine side effects:
“More importantly, any vaccine can have side effects, sometimes life threatening. That’s why parents are required to furnish information on the child’s medical history, prior allergic reactions, and the child’s overall well- being.”
“Do we believe all 12 year olds will know what they’re allergic to and communicate that to the person administering the vaccine? Do we believe they will be aware of any past reactions to vaccinations received as a toddler?”
“We do need to be honest about all kinds of parents who are out here, and some really do need legislative circumvention … Young people know when they’re in trouble…they know when they are with a parent or guardian that is not loving them,” said Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles) during Senate debate.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Granite Bay) assured parents the Assembly will stop the bill:
The bill removing parental consent for 12-year-olds to get vaccinated just passed the Senate by a single vote. We will stop this obscene legislation in the Assembly.
The bill passed the Senate 21-7.
SB 871 by Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) Forced Vaccinations for School Enrollment: would have required all school-aged children up to age 17 to get the COVID-19 vaccine(s) to attend school and child care. But Sen. Pan withdrew the bill due to its unpopularity, and possible legal conflicts.
The Globe will follow up and report on SB 866 in the Assembly.