PerspectiveTeens of “anti-vaxxers” can get their own vaccines, some states say

Published 28 June 2019

A young man who had just turned 18 showed up at the Virginia office of Drs. Sterling and Karen Ransone earlier this month and asked for the vaccines for meningitis and human papillomavirus. It was his first opportunity to be vaccinated. As a minor, he needed permission from his parents, and they wouldn’t grant it because they didn’t think the vaccines were medically necessary. Now, as a legal adult, he could get the shots on his own. This year there have been at least 1,044 measles cases in 28 states — the largest outbreak since 1992. Michael Ollove writes in Stateline that public health officials blame parents who have refused to have their kids vaccinated. One way to boost immunization rates is to narrow school vaccination exemptions, which four states have done this year. Another is to take the decision out of parents’ hands and let their kids choose for themselves. A handful of states already have given teens some vaccination rights.