What can teenagers looking for COVID shots do if their parents are opposed to vaccines?

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Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

[T]hough Covid vaccines have been authorized for children as young as 12, many parents, worried about side effects and frightened by the newness of the shots, have held off from permitting their children to get them.

A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only three in 10 parents of children between the ages of 12 through 17 intended to allow them to be vaccinated immediately. Many say they will wait for long-term safety data or the prod of a school mandate. But with many teenagers eager to get shots that they see as unlocking freedoms denied during the pandemic, tensions are crackling in homes in which parents are holding to a hard no.

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“Isabella wants it because her friends are getting it, and she doesn’t want to wear a mask,” said Charisse, a mother of a 17-year-old in Delray Beach, Fla., who asked that her last name be withheld for family privacy. Charisse fears the shot could have an effect on her daughter’s reproductive system (a misperception that public health officials have repeatedly refuted).

“Isabella said, ‘It’s my body.’ And I said, ‘Well, it’s my body until you’re 18.’”

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