State lawmakers vote to require parental permission for COVID vaccines
State lawmakers Thursday gave final approval to a bill requiring written parental permission before minors can be given vaccines authorized under "Emergency Use" by the FDA.Posted — Updated
After passing the Senate unanimously Tuesday, the bill returned to the House, where it was given final approval Thursday, 106-5. There was no debate or even any mention of the added provision. Supporters said the bill was not controversial.
In July, Gov. Roy Cooper said he has concerns about the requirement and would consult the state Department of Health and Human Services about it before deciding whether to sign the bill, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.
The FDA has announced intentions to fully authorize the three COVID-19 vaccines in use as soon as possible.
Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, was one of the original sponsors of House Bill 96, but she voted against it Thursday. She told WRAL News she's taking her name off the bill, too, over her disagreement with the parental consent requirement.
"I don't think it's a good idea," she said. "There are a lot of vaccine skeptics out there. My opinion is we need more people vaccinated, not fewer."
Harrison pointed out that, under state law, minors with "decisional capacity" aren't required to get parental consent before any other vaccines or health care services.
"We've got school starting in September," she added. "I feel like, if they want to get vaccines and they have the decisional capacity to make that decision, I think they ought to be allowed to have a vaccine without parental consent."
Harrison said she didn't speak against the provision during the House debate because she may have been exposed to the virus recently, so she's been monitoring sessions from outside the chamber and coming in only when needed to cast votes.
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