Death Threats Lead California Legislator to Drop Vaccine Bill

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A hate-filled pressure campaign, including death threats, led the author of a bill seeking to lower California’s vaccination consent age to abandon the effort on Wednesday.

“Sadly, months of harassment and misinformation — including death threats against me and teen advocates — by a small but very vocal and organized minority of anti-vaxxers have taken their toll,” Sen. Scott Wiener (D) said in a written statement. .

Weiner said his bill seeks to allow those 15 and older to get vaccinated voluntarily (SB 866) was just a few votes short of the support it needs and did not come up for a vote in the final hours of the legislative session.

“Anti-vaxxers may have won this particular fight, but the broader fight for science and health continues,” he said, praising the student activists who pushed the bill for showing “passion, tenacity and a willingness to endure personal attacks from adults. anti-vaxxers who have been absolutely cruel to them and anyone else who believes in science.”

Although spurred by a national backlash from people who didn’t want governments to require Covid vaccines, Wiener’s legislation sought to go beyond the pandemic response. It sought to allow teenagers age 15 or older to consent to any FDA-approved vaccine that meets the recommendations of the Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

California children age 12 and older can now independently choose to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B vaccines, both of which protect against sexually transmitted infections.

other states

In Idaho and Washington, minors can make decisions about any health care procedure if their provider deems the child mature enough, according to the office of the bill’s co-author, state Sen. Richard Pan (D).

In Tennessee, Oregon, and Rhode Island, the ages of consent for vaccination are 14, 15, and 16, respectively. And in Alaska and Delaware, residents between the ages of 12 and 18 can consent to any vaccine except the Covid vaccine, according to Pan’s staff.

A separate initiative prompted by the Covid pandemic has landed on the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). That measure (AB 2098), which won the final passage Tuesday, would have declared spreading false or misleading medical information to patients “unprofessional conduct” punishable by the Medical Board of California, which licenses doctors.

Newsom is also considering bills that would:

  • Allow doctors to review an insurance company’s prior authorization decision (AB 1880);
  • Mandate that nursing homes spend at least 85% of income on patient care (AB 2079); a
  • Allow California residents to receive health benefits through the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange if they stop working during a labor strike (AB 2530).

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