The DC Council is pushing three bad bills
OPPOSE B24-0890, B24-0891 & B24-0942: Allows Some Minors to Consent to Vaccines & Allows Providers to Vaccinate Minors After Failed Attempt to Obtain Consent
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The DC Council is pushing three similar bad bills in an attempt to work around the striking down of the DC Minor Consent Law by a federal judge. DC bills B24-0890, B24-0891, and B24-0942 allow certain minors to consent to vaccines on their own, and also allows providers to go ahead and vaccinate minors without parental consent by assuming consent after only attempting to obtain consent. Both the "emergency" version and "temporary" versions of the bill have already passed the Council, and the members are also working on passing a regular version. The reason the Council is forwarding three versions of the same bill is because each type of legislation will have a different effective date and length of time that its provisions may be enforced. The push to pass these bills is even more concerning because of the current COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all public, private, and parochial DC school students.
B24-0890, the Consent for Vaccinations of Minors Emergency Amendment Act of 2022, passed the Council in a 12-1 vote on 6/28/2022. Since it is "emergency" legislation which may be in effect for no longer than 90 days, it does not require congressional approval, and has been transmitted to the Mayor's office for review. We need calls and emails to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to ask her to veto this bill. Her response is due on 7/25/2022.
B24-0891, the Consent for Vaccinations of Minors Temporary Amendment Act of 2022, is "temporary" legislation, and passed the DC Council on Tuesday, July 12th. We need calls and emails to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to ask her to veto this bill as well, since it has also been transmitted to the Mayor's office with and her response is due on 8/4/2022. This bill must undergo both mayoral review and congressional review. If it passes these steps, it may be in effect for no longer than 225 days. You may want to watch Council Member Trayon White Sr.’s eloquent and spot on opposition to this bill from a legislative meeting held on 6/28/2022. You can scroll to the 2:21:01 mark at http://dc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=7542.
B24-0942, the Consent for Vaccinations of Minors Amendment Act of 2022, is the regular version of the bill. Unlike the emergency and temporary versions, it will undergo the normal legislative process for DC bills and its provisions do not have an expiration date. It was introduced on 7/13/2022, and will be referred to the Council Committee on Health on 9/20/2022. Calls and emails to the DC councilmembers are needed to ask them to oppose the bill.
[NOTE: The DC Council is in recess until September 15th, so calls to the Mayor's office asking her to veto B24-0890 and B24-0891 should be prioritized for now]
All three of these bills repeal a law that went into effect in 2021 (Passed as bill B23-0171) which allowed minors 12 and older to consent to any ACIP recommended vaccine without parental consent or knowledge and requires schools, providers and insurance companies to conceal this information from parents (Subsection 600.9 of Title 22-B of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations 51 (22-B DCMR § 600.9)). This law was challenged in court and in March 2022 the court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the law from taking effect.
These new bills allow an emancipated minor, a minor who is married or previously has been married, an unaccompanied homeless minor, a minor who is or has been pregnant, or a minor who is separated from their parents or legal guardian for whatever reason and is not supported by their parents or guardian, may consent to receive a vaccine recommended by the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (“ACIP”), and receipt of the vaccine is in accordance with ACIP’s recommended immunization schedule.
These bills also dangerously allow a vaccine provider to vaccinate a minor if the vaccine provider reasonably attempts to obtain consent from the minor’s parent or legal guardian either in person, in writing, or by telephone, and there is no objection from the parent or legal guardian. Consent of the parent or legal guardian may be assumed if the vaccine provider cannot notify the parent or legal guardian after at least a reasonable attempt to notify has been made.
These bills apply to any child in DC, and do not require the child to reside in DC, so visiting families will have children at risk of being vaccinated without parental consent if these bills pass.
These bills also amend Section 3(a) of the Student Health Care Act of 1985, effective December 2, 1985 (D.C. Law 6-66; D.C. Official Code § 38-602(a)) to read as follows:
“(a) Except as provided in section 4, each student attending prekindergarten through grade 12 in a public, public charter, private, or independent school in the District of Columbia shall furnish the school annually with a certificate of health completed and signed by a physician.
The original language does not include the words "except as provided in section 4." Section 4 stipulates that attendance will not be affected, but there is a fine not to exceed $100 per school year.
All three of these bills are sponsored by Councilmember Gray, with Councilmember Cheh as an additional sponsor for B24-0942.
1) Contact DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and ask her to veto both B24-0890 and B24-0891.
Click here to access the online "Ask the Mayor" submission form.
2) Contact DC Council members and ask them to oppose B24-0942.
Councilmembers and Phone Numbers
Chairman Phil Mendelson: 202-724-8032
Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie: 202-724-8028
Councilmember Anita Bonds: 202-724-8064
Councilmember Elissa Silverman: 202-724-7772
Councilmember Robert C. White Jr.: 202-724-8174