A federal judge has temporarily blocked the District of Columbia from enforcing a law that would otherwise allow children as young as 11 to get vaccinations, whether against COVID-19 or other diseases, without their parents' consent. The judge's ruling against the law was made because it would violate parents' religious liberties.
The law in question, the Minor Consent for Vaccinations Amendment Act of 2020, details that a ''minor, 11 years of age or older, may consent to receive a vaccine if the minor is capable of meeting the informed consent standard'' and ''a minor shall be deemed to meet the informed consent standard if the minor is able to comprehend the need for, the nature of, and any significant risks ordinarily inherent in the medical care.''
Despite a minor's knowledge of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, no long-term studies have been conducted to assess what possible risks such vaccines may pose to a given population in the future.
The decision to block the law came Friday amidst the growing debate among regulators and drug companies on what evidence COVID-19 vaccines may hold for children under 5 years old, The Hill reported.
Under the law, ''providers who administer immunizations under the authority of this subsection'' can get reimbursed ''directly from the insurer'' without a religious parent's knowledge or consent.
In addition, the ''insurers shall not send an Explanation of Benefits for services provided under the authority of this subsection.''
Since the law's introduction, two separate lawsuits have been brought against it on behalf of parents.
One lawsuit, brought by the father of a teenage son, mentions that the District created a ''pressure-cooker environment, enticing and psychologically manipulating'' his child to ''defy their parents and take vaccinations against their parents' wills.''
After his son received vaccines, the man mentions that his child was made ''medically frail'' and developed autoimmunity, alopecia (severe hair loss), asthma,and eczema. He says he is of the sincere religious belief that ''he should not inject a foreign substance into his son's body that may harm him,'' and he objects to COVID-19 vaccines and other childhood vaccines.
The lawsuit did not mention the father's religion. It was filed on behalf of Children's Health Defense, an organization run by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Judge Trevor McFadden, appointed by then-President Donald Trump, said he doesn't anticipate a large impact from the injunction, writing that the ruling ''will not prevent children from being vaccinated. Nor will it prevent the District from continuing to advertise the importance of vaccines, incentivizing vaccinations, and setting up vaccine clinics in schools. The only impact will be that children will be unable to decide to get vaccinations without their parents' consent.''
In addition, McFadden ruled that the law ''targets religious parents'' because information can be withheld that would otherwise be available to secular parents who filed for a medical exemption.
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