COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — A Senate subcommittee voted unanimously to move forward with a bill that would prohibit 16 and 17-year-olds in South Carolina from getting the COVID-19 vaccine without their parent’s permission.
Right now, teens over the age of 16 in South Carolina can get a vaccine without parental consent.
Lawmakers on a Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee voted unanimously to give the legislation a favorable report.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Senator Brian Adams (R-District 44) said, “I have been receiving a bunch of phone calls from parents concerned about school boards and school districts giving their children the COVID vaccine without their consent.”
Sen. Adams said his bill will not impact other medical services students can receive while at school.
The subcommittee listened to concerns over vaccinations from parents like Rachel Julian. She said she parents should decide whether or not their child gets vaccinated against COVID-19. She said, “We the parents need to make the choice what’s best for our children. Not the government. Not the state of South Carolina.”
The bill has been sent to the full Senate Medical Affairs committee. Since the General Assembly is in the off-session, the soonest it could become law is January 2022.
State health officials said the three vaccines authorized for emergency usage are safe and effective. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for anyone 12 or older as of this afternoon.
According to the newest CDC data (updated Tuesday evening), more than 40,000 12-17 year-olds in South Carolina are fully vaccinated or about 10% of that population.