ADVERTISEMENT

Bill going to Cooper requires parents to OK kid’s COVID shot

August 5, 2021 GMT
A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine dose at a large-scale vaccination site at UNC's Friday Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Tuesday, Jan. 19 2021. Major hospital systems across North Carolina will soon require workers to get a COVID-19 shot if they want to keep working at the facilities. The decision comes as state health officials warn of a rise in cases fueled by the delta variant. Communities with large unvaccinated populations have been particularly hard hit. The state Healthcare Association said on Thursday, July 22, 2021 that Duke Health, Atrium Health and many UNC Health hospitals will soon compel workers to get vaccinated. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine dose at a large-scale vaccination site at UNC's Friday Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Tuesday, Jan. 19 2021. Major hospital systems across North Carolina will soon require workers to get a COVID-19 shot if they want to keep working at the facilities. The decision comes as state health officials warn of a rise in cases fueled by the delta variant. Communities with large unvaccinated populations have been particularly hard hit. The state Healthcare Association said on Thursday, July 22, 2021 that Duke Health, Atrium Health and many UNC Health hospitals will soon compel workers to get vaccinated. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)
A healthcare worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine dose at a large-scale vaccination site at UNC's Friday Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Tuesday, Jan. 19 2021. Major hospital systems across North Carolina will soon require workers to get a COVID-19 shot if they want to keep working at the facilities. The decision comes as state health officials warn of a rise in cases fueled by the delta variant. Communities with large unvaccinated populations have been particularly hard hit. The state Healthcare Association said on Thursday, July 22, 2021 that Duke Health, Atrium Health and many UNC Health hospitals will soon compel workers to get vaccinated. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill requiring minors to get approval from their parents before receiving a COVID-19 shot in North Carolina was sent to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday.

The measure, which cleared the state Senate unanimously earlier this week, passed on Thursday with support from all but five House Democrats.

Americans who are at least 12 years old are currently eligible for the shot. Parental consent for the COVID-19 vaccine for youths between the ages of 12 and 17 would be required once the bill becomes law but only apply as long as the COVID-19 shots remain approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. The FDA may soon give the Pfizer vaccine final approval, which is the only vaccine available for children 12 years and older.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, state law “gives people under the age of 18 the ability to make certain health decisions, including the choice to get a COVID-19 vaccine, if they show the decisional capacity to do so.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The parental consent provision is included within a bill that expands the types of medications immunizing pharmacists can administer.

In a Wednesday news conference, Cooper declined to say whether he would sign House Bill 96 if it reached his desk.

“I’m not gonna give you what you want,” Cooper said. “We’re gonna examine that legislation as it goes through the process. It does some important things that we know that we need to do, so we’re going to continue to look at it.”

As of Thursday, 262,236 North Carolina adolescents aged 12 to 17 have gotten at least one shot of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, state health department data shows. The vaccinated youth represent less than 33% of the nearly 800,000 children in that age group, far below the statewide average of 59% of eligible residents and 87% of adults 65 or older at least partially vaccinated.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

___

Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson.

___

Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.