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Should Parents Decide If Teens Get Vaccinated?

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As the Covid-19 vaccine becomes more readily available for more people–including for teens who are at least 16 years old–some parents are hesitant about allowing their minor children to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, public health experts say young people will need to get the vaccine if the U.S is to reach herd immunity.

TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate controversial topics and share their voices. Click to see this video and lesson plan on KQED Learn.

There is growing momentum on Reddit and TikTok from teens who want to get vaccinated without their parents’ consent. In this episode of Above the Noise, our host Myles Bess investigates this trend, as well as the history of vaccines and the movement against them. He also speaks with Kelly Danielpour, the high school senior who founded Vaxteen – a non-profit public health organization that provides resources for teens who want to learn more about self-consent laws for minors. 


Parents using alternative vaccine schedule for their kids https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21969290/

State Immunization Requirements & Exemptions https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/school-immunization-exemption-state-laws.aspx


Teens can get certain vaccines without parental consent in some states: https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2019/06/24/teens-of-anti-vaxxers-can-get-their-own-vaccines-some-states-say

Diseases we’ve gotten in check thanks to vaccines https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/diseases/forgot-14-diseases.html

Polio Key Facts: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/poliomyelitis

History of Anti-Vaccine Movement https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/history-anti-vaccination-movements

Measles cases and outbreak resurgence https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6840e2.htm?s_cid=mm6840e2_w

Teen Vaccination Resources

https://www.unity4teenvax.org/about-us/ https://www.vaxteen.org/

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