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HOUSTON, TEXAS - MAY 13: Registered nurse Marcie Weissman comforts a child ahead of his Covid-19 vaccination shot on May 13, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Xavier Academy and Texas Rxsolutions and Compounding Pharmacy hosted the clinic for 12- to 15-year olds in the center of West University. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today announced that fully vaccinated Americans may forgo wearing masks indoors and outdoors in most cases. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

To be honest, I’m shocked this wasn’t already the case. A new bill would require parental consent for those under 18 to get the COVID Vaccine. The bill states that North Carolina children would need parental permission prior to receiving COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use.  The legislation advanced through a Senate committee on Wednesday. The bill was approved by the Senate Health Care Committee, also contained in the bill is legislation that would expand the types of medications immunizing pharmacists are allowed to administer. It would have the state health director issue standing orders for immunizing pharmacists to administer more medications without an additional doctor’s prescription. Medications include nicotine smoking cessation programs, some oral contraceptives, contraceptives delivered through a skin patch, and prenatal vitamins.

Parents and legislators have expressed concerns that minors could elect to get the COVID-19 vaccine on their own while it is still only authorized for emergency use. Pfizer is the only vaccine currently authorized for children and it is only available to those above age 12. Studies are underway for children younger than that but have not yet been presented to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization. Currently under NC law children are able to make the decision on their own. This is contingent on “if they show the decisional capacity to do so,” per the state Department of Health Human Services. While this is the NC law, some providers have their own rules on parental consent.

What happens next? The bill is headed to another senate committee, would then have to be voted on by the Senate, The House, and eventually Governor Cooper. We will keep you updated on any changes to the parental consent rules for the covid vaccine.