It used to be that kids would go to their annual well visit checkup with one of their parents, find out things like height, weight, etc and get whatever vaccines the pediatrician or family doctor they were seeing recommended.
Little kids probably don’t really care one way or another if they’re vaccinated. Actually, they might prefer not to be vaccinated because we can’t think of ever meeting a child who liked getting a shot. To a kid, the inconvenience of the momentary pain would be reason enough not to get a vaccine.
Anti-vaxxers are well-meaning, but when kids aren’t vaccinated, they’re at risk of getting horrible diseases that could have been prevented. When their kids grow up and become teenagers, many of them start to understand the importance of vaccines. Sometimes they disagree with their parents’ decisions and desperately want to get vaccinated.
Actually, a whole lot of kids of anti-vaxxers want to get vaccinated. Many teens are turning to Reddit to ask for help figuring out how to get vaccinated without their parents’ consent. The laws vary by state, so there’s not a straightforward answer. In some states, teens need to wait until they turn 18 and are legally adults before they can get the vaccines they want.
There’s a whole genre of Reddit posts where teens ask how to get vaccinated without their parents consenting.Just. Just so you know, that’s a thing.
— Andrea Phillips (@andrhia) January 25, 2019
Even for children who wait until their 18th birthday to get vaccinated, they’re smart to pay out of pocket instead of using their parents’ insurance plan if they don’t want their parents to find out. Some kids have actually gotten kicked out of their parents’ home because they got vaccinated.
So, what’s a kid to do? First of all, kids should listen to their parents’ side of the story. They probably have very good reason why they’re strongly against vaccines. Then, they need their parents to hear their side of the story. Many people on Reddit suggest having a doctor or even a school nurse meet with the teen and the parents to lead the conversation about why vaccines are important.
Another option for teens is to find out if both of their parents are against vaccines or not. Perhaps one parent would be willing to offer consent if the other parent is not. As one comment on Twitter reads, “My mum told me that she ‘vaccinated’ me against whooping cough with homeopathy. I was *horrified* and asked my dad and he said he took me (and siblings) to get vaccinated without telling her.”
Do you have all of your vaccines? Do you think teens should be able to get vaccinated without their parents’ consent?