How can -18 get covid vaccine without consent of anti-vaccine parent?
April 2, 2021 11:05 PM   Subscribe

If an under-18 wants a Covid vaccine in a state that has required parent consent for those under 18, and has anti-vaccine parent, how might they go about getting it?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Call your local department of public health. If there is a legal way for someone to do so, they are going to be the people who know locally what to do. They are highly invested in getting as many vaccines into arms at possible and will be happy to take your call.

There might not be a (legal) way at the moment though, it depends on where. Vaccine distribution is highly monitored process at the moment.

If your state allows minors to consent to care for reproductive/sexual health care, those places might be a good place to ask, but they may not have access to the vaccine. But they've likely dealt with this question as Gardasil is controversial in some groups and the target group is teens.
posted by AlexiaSky at 11:31 PM on April 2 [3 favorites]

I would weigh risk and consequences of health against legal and social ramifications of the intervention. If you are not the minor that is. If you're the minor, f*** your weird mom / dad / parentron :)
But there are a handful of countries that can vaccinate minors now, most of us are still at vaccinating the elderly, if we've gotten any vaccine at all yet. So if the purpose of the action is to do a good thing and contribute to heard immunity, I'd first look at vaccination stats in the area, see if the region is ablaze with antivaxxers, or if herd immunity can be reached in the state/city without force, since this is what that is.
But these things are fragile, so if this doesn't apply, feel free to ignore :)
posted by svenni at 11:39 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]

This article, suggests that VaxTeen might be a resource.
posted by oceano at 11:48 PM on April 2

There is one additional wrinkle: several COVID vaccines are NOT approved for people under the age of 18. That's why there were news recently that "our COVID vaccine works great on teenagers too". IIRC, both Moderna and J&J versions are NOT approved for non-adults (yet).

Only a few states have "mature minor doctrine" where the minor is tested to see if he's mature enough to understand the risks of vaccination. And state laws may offer exemptions on certain vaccines that are deemed public safety necessity, while others require parental approval.

In other states, in order to do it legally, you probably need to get a family court judge either emanicipate you, or to specifically overrule your parents on this one decision.

posted by kschang at 12:20 AM on April 3

My question is, how are they checking? At mine they didn't even look at my ID-- it was just a signature. Find out more about the process where you are.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:42 AM on April 3 [3 favorites]

Re: obscuring/lying about demographics: one might get away with it, but might not. Depending on the age it might end up a really big deal in terms of getting a vaccine they aren't approved for and there's a bunch of interested parties who would like for that not to happen (hospitals, staff afraid of malpractice lawsuits, any governing bodies studying the adminstration of vaccines) so it could be rather not fun, but who knows. But more importantly, the vaccination record would never be tied to the person, which could impact things in the future if there was something that required proof of vaccination. It would end up fairly complicated and the end result may mean that beaurocratically they would need additional vaccination. Most states automatically place recieved vaccinations into a state database system these days, and the covid vaccine would essentially be associated with someone else.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:17 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]

If the person is 16 or over (so Pfizer is approved for them) and has their own government ID (driving permit or passport)...would a vaccination location necessarily know or put a lot of energy into authenticating that the adult with them is or is not their legal guardian? Do the parents need to know that vaccination happened?

I realize there are ethical grey areas and potentially legal issues and that herd immunity is an overarching goal but a minor living with antivax parents during a pandemic has substantially less control over their own exposure than the rest of us. Ethically it feels akin to queer folks saying they are their partner’s sibling when visiting in the hospital in times/places where same-sex partnerships were not recognized.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:16 AM on April 3 [13 favorites]

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