Should Teens be Allowed to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine without their Parent’s Permission?


Courtesy of Latino Health Access Instagram

A dancing syringe is seen in Santa Ana to bring awareness to the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Diego Gomez and Anthony Olarra

Recently, a Pennsylvania teen, Nicholas Montero, crossed county lines from Bucks County to Philadelphia in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Montero was allowed to get it there without his parents’ permission as many counties in the U.S  have not implemented that right yet. Montero’s parents were strictly against the COVID-19 vaccine and prohibited their son from getting it. Over the past two years, hundreds of teens have gotten vaccinated against their parents’ will.  

In Orange County, two teenagers passed away from COVID-19 in February. One teen was not vaccinated which shows how serious a threat COVID-19 is towards a person’s life.

In the United States, in cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco, and the state of Arizona, teenagers are allowed to self-consent the decision to get vaccinated. A vast majority of states still haven’t implemented the right for 17-year-olds and younger to get their vaccine without permission.

Teens should be allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccine as they are mature enough and it could save lives.

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that three in 10 parents said that they are allowing their kids to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, half of the parents noted that they have not vaccinated their children. 

15-year-old Godinez Fundamental High School (GFHS) student Daniel Arroyo has not been able to vaccinate himself due to his parents’ work hours. 

“I haven’t been vaccinated as both my parents work all day. Sunday is their only day off but they are totally in favor of the vaccine as their job requires it,” said Arroyo.

But Arroyo wants the vaccine and hopes, “I will be able to get the vaccine without my parents having to give permission.” 

16-year-old GFHS sophomore, Jared Valentino, said he hasn’t gotten vaccinated as his parents are strictly against the vaccine but he will get the vaccine once he turns 18.

“My parents are really afraid of the possible side effects of the vaccine but I have done my own research and I know it’s safe. The hard part is waiting around for two years to turn 18,” stated Valentino.

18-year-old senior Jahir Navarro has stated that his mom was highly against the vaccine. 

“My mom believed that the vaccine was a government plot, but as time went on we lost some loved ones which made us take the initiative to get vaccinated,” said Navarro. 

Bill SB-866 was introduced in California on January 20, in order to allow teenagers under 18 to get the vaccine without the consent of their parents. California is one of the main states that highly encourages the COVID vaccine with this bill being amended in the Senate on March 9th, it could soon turn into law.

The hope is to see a surge in vaccinations for teens as they have the ability to make that decision to get the vaccine without their parents consent. The pros outweigh the cons since more teens will get vaccinated, teenagers could start fighting for this right in other states, teens could do things that only vaccinated people can do because of their vaccination status, and it’s been proven the vaccine is completely safe so once teens are vaccinated their parents may be encouraged to get vaccinated as well.  

With many teens wanting to get vaccinated, there are similar rights that teens are allowed to do in other states including: 

  • Dropout of School- 25 states
  • Receive an Abortion-38 states
  • Get Married at the age of 16 with parental consent- 46 States
  • Consume alcohol with parental  provisionArkansas and New York
  • Get a tattoo- 39 States

The COVID vaccine might be the difference that saves a teenager’s life. The government should consider allowing teens to get vaccinated. If they aren’t allowed to, then the consequences could be fatal.