MSDC, MedChi DC Ask Mayor to Sign Minor Consent for Vaccine Bill November 24, 2020

Written by MSDC Staff

Today, MSDC and the Medico-Chirurgical Society of DC sent separate letters expressing the same message - Mayor Bowser should sign the Minor Consent for Vaccinations bill passed by the Council.

B23-171, introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh, would permit a minor to receive a vaccination on the ACIP recommended immunization schedule without a parent or guardian. The minor, defined as age 11 and above, would need to be deemed by the physician as knowledgeable of the vaccine, any side effects, and that they would be receiving it without parental consent. MSDC was heavily involved in the bill's passage, including consulting on the final language along with the DC Chapter of AAP. 

Recently, a campaign by anti-vaccination activists have tried to convince Mayor Bowser not to sign the legislation after it passed the Council by a 10-3 vote. MSDC, MedChi DC, and Immunize DC have all mobilized to provide factual information on why the bill should be signed. MedChi's letter can be seen here. MSDC's email can be seen below.

Dear Mayor Bowser – 

Recently we have heard there is a concerted effort asking you to veto the Minor Consent for Vaccination legislation. MSDC supported this bill because it is a good public health measure that will help the District maintain its high immunization levels. A few things to note:

1. The bill will apply only to a select population of minors who (a) can understand medical information about vaccines and (b) cannot receive parental consent for vaccination
2. Physicians will make the final call on whether a minor truly understands vaccines, why they are needed, and any risks
3. A vaccine is one of the safest medical treatments, based on 20 years of research
4. Minors can consent to behavioral health and reproductive health services already without parental consent

This bill helps District residents remain safe with minimal impact on parental rights. We urge you to ignore the disinformation campaign and support the bill.

The Medical Society of the District of Columbia