On Monday, USA TODAY profiled teenagers who oppose their anti-vaccine parents and want to get their shots for COVID-19 — and what they are doing to speak out.
"Ethan Lindenberger grew up hearing vaccinations were dangerous but he didn't know why. It wasn't until he was 16 and researching that he realized he might not see eye-to-eye with his mother anymore," wrote Gabriela Miranda. 'I got on the internet and realized there were thousands of people who disagreed with my mom,' Lindenberger, now 20, told USA TODAY. 'Then I realized I needed to get vaccinated. I needed to do it not just for my community but for everyone's safety,' After his Reddit post seeking advice on how to get vaccinated went viral two years ago, Lindenberger is now urging other teens to get the COVID-19 vaccine."
Unfortunately, throughout most of the country, teenagers in Lindenberger's situation have few options.
"Parental consent is needed in most states except North Carolina, where all teenagers can receive vaccinations, in Tennessee and Alabama where those 14 and older don't need consent, and in Oregon where parental permission isn't required for those 15 and older," said the report. "The rules are murkier in Iowa, where the outcome depends on your health care provider."
"Arin Parsa, founder of Teens for Vaccines, a group dedicated to reporting misinformation and advocating for vaccinations, is only 13 but said he knows vaccines save lives," the report continued. "After seeing some teens unable to obtain consent for vaccinations, Parsa told USA TODAY that he started the group to give teens a voice and platform."
The FDA only recently approved COVID-19 vaccinations for teenagers age 12-15, and in some parts of the country, they have turned out in force to get their shots. One recent poll, however, said that only 3 in 10 parents want to get their children vaccinated.
You can read more here.