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Georgia Politics

Bill Would Allow Teens to Be Vaccinated Sans Parental Consent

A bill filed in the Georgia legislature would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to be vaccinated without the consent of their parents.

A bill filed in the Georgia legislature would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to be vaccinated without the consent of their parents.

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The bipartisan measure was filed in the Georgia House of Representatives last week. Sponsored by State Rep. Teri Anulewicz, the bill has the support of Health & Human Services Chair Sharon Cooper as well as Representatives Jesse Petrea, Debbie Buckner, Erick Allen, and Park Cannon.

House Bill 615 would add a new code section – OCGA 31-12-3.3 – and would permit 16 and 17 to be vaccinated against certain diseases and viruses without parental consent. The following vaccines are listed in the bill:

  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • pertussis (whooping cough) 
  • meningococcal disease
  • Measles
  • mumps
  • measles/mumps/rubella
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • chicken pox
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)

The bill comes on the heels of a number of measles cases in various states, some of which impacted unvaccinated children. The CDC has listed six states as ‘outbreak states,’ defining an outbreak as three or more cases. The ‘outbreaks’ have once again sparked vaccination debates and even yielded lawsuits by unvaccinated children who were banned from returning to school.

Trends in Measles Cases, 2010-2019

Photo: CDC

The state of Georgia muddies the water on the age of consent. You must be 18 to be considered an adult, but 16 is the age of consent for sex and mandatory education. It’s also the age of consent for marriage, though the legislature is half-way to moving the age to 17. And Georgia allows minors to get birth control without parental consent.

The question will come down to whether or not 16 and 17 year-olds can make medical decisions such as these on their own.

Because Crossover Day has passed, the bill has no chance of passage during the 2019 legislative session but could move next year. The measure has a committee hearing Tuesday. If the bill moves out of committee, it will be one step closer to passage in 2020.

You can read the bill here.

Jessica Szilagyi is a former Statewide Contributor for



  1. Yvonne

    October 20, 2019 at 10:03 am

    Only if they have true informed consent. Have them be given the insert beforehand with adequate time to read it. Or watch a video which provides all the information on the insert.

    In lite of recent research showing vacines have decreased life/health outcomes having someone informed before partaking of the pharmaceutical is necessary.

    Just one looked at showing similar results.

    Whooping cough vax creates asymptomatic carriers who dont build immunity like they should and can contract it multiple times and infect those they claim its mental to protect.

    The vacinated who contract flu shed via breathing creating airborn flu. The shedding in groups who had previously been vacinated is 6.3x higher. They also state repeated vaccines reduce the effectiveness of the current vaccine.

    Vaccines are not straight forward and understanding the risks and benefits is necessary. Kids have no education determine this and make an informed decision.

    While were at it why weren’t my doctors required to hand me the actual insert? I get them on all meds I am prescribed. Maybe it’s time to get that legislated. It would have been nice to know that vax I got while pregnant had never even been tested on pregnant animals. It wasn’t tested for cancer or fertility effects. Where was my informed consent? That paper never mentioned that.

  2. Janet Belcher

    October 20, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    So then if this occurs will the Dr or the State take responsibility for caring for said teenager in the event of a vaccine reaction or injury? Or will the idiots put that back on the parents they went against.

  3. Tracy

    January 9, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Yvonne and Janet 👍🏼👍🏼🙌🏻🙌🏻

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