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Fact Finders: Child’s vaccine rights

Published: May. 21, 2021 at 7:20 PM MST|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 7:21 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Not all children are going to agree with their parents’ decision on whether to vaccinate them against COVID-19. So, what are a child’s rights?

Alison Briggs, an attorney with My AZ Lawyers, says technically if the child is younger than 18 they are legally subject to their parents’ decisions including vaccinations. However, if the parents bring the child to the medical provider’s office and the child is resistant saying they don’t want this vaccine, the provider may choose to not administer it based on ethics reasons. The provider’s decision will likely have a lot to do with their relationship with the child and the child’s age. However, if the child disagrees with the parents’ decision can the child take the issue to court?

”The child doesn’t have standing to bring a dispute and say, ‘I’m challenging my parents’ decision.’ It would be if there was a dispute between the two parents that then the child would be potentially interviewed to see what their position is if it’s age appropriate,” she said.

Now, if a child is emancipated that’s a whole other issue. Briggs says it’s unlikely a court would emancipate a child based on one issue like a vaccine disagreement. She thinks it would likely have to be many issues.

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