A Democratic state lawmaker in Connecticut introduced a bill that would allow children 12 years old and above to receive vaccines without parental consent.
Democratic State Rep. Kevin Ryan, who represents Connecticut’s 139th District, introduced House Bill 5480 this week.
“The legislation proposed is an issue that has been an important concern for my 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 said.
The proposal was referred by the state House to the Joint Committee on Public Health, according to WSFB-TV.
It is uncertain whether Ryan’s bill will receive a floor vote. The decision will be determined by the state House’s health committee.
State House Minority Leader Vinnie Candelora, a Republican, spoke out against Ryan’s legislation.
“It’s a road that Connecticut keeps trying to push, the Democrats keep pushing this issue and I think it’s really important to have parents involved in their child’s lives so I find the proposal very disturbing,” Candelora said, according to WSFB-TV.
Current state law in Connecticut requires the permission of a parent or guardian for anyone under 18 years old to receive a vaccine in the state, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
A total of 43 states require parental consent to take COVID vaccines. Most states require parental consent until the age of 18. Oregon teenagers can take COVID vaccines without parental consent starting at age 15, while Rhode Island, North Carolina, and South Carolina allow vaccines without parental consent starting at 16 years old.
In February 2022, Democratic California State Sen. Scott Wiener proposed a similar bill in his state that would allow minors over the age of 12 to receive COVID vaccines without parental consent. The proposal failed to pass over concerns of government overreach.
The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that as of January 4, approximately 17.8 million children ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, while 15.2 million have completed two doses.
About 8.4 million 12-to-17-year-olds have not received a dose of the COVID vaccine, according to the report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID vaccines for everyone aged 6 months and older, and COVID boosters for everyone aged 5 years and older, if eligible.
Data released last week observed that the percentage of U.S. children entering kindergarten with their required immunizations fell to 93% in the 2021-22 school year, representing a 1% decrease nationwide.
“While 1 percentage point might not seem concerning, that one percent represents tens of thousands of children who are inadequately protected from diseases we can easily prevent through immunization,” said Dr. Michelle Fiscus, chief medical officer at the Association of Immunization Managers, according to The Associated Press.
The concern made headlines recently as reports of measles cases increased in the nation last year, particularly in parts of Ohio, after the illness had been nearly eradicated.
“This national trend is alarming, especially as we see outbreaks of measles in Ohio among children who are too young to be vaccinated and those who are inadequately vaccinated. We need all hands on deck to get these children protected,” Fiscus added.
The Daily Wire has reached out to Ryan for comment on the newly proposed legislation.