Kelly Danielpour, 18 (pictured), founded the website VaxTeen, and has been informing adolescents with vaccine-hesitant parents about minority consent laws, which allow teens to get shots without adult approval
Teenagers whose parents are vaccine-hesitant are helping each other schedule appointments to get the COVID-19 shot
With Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine approved for Americans between ages 12 and 17, more than 25 million adolescents are eligible to get immunized against the disease, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
However, a recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that fewer than one-third of parents intend to get their sons and daughters immunized right away and more than a quarter have no plans to do so.
Most states requires parental or guardian consent to administer a Covid-19 vaccine shot to children ages 12 to 15.
But some states allow youngsters to consent for themselves, without requiring parents’ approval.
One of the teenagers fielding requests from other teens whose parents don’t want them to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is Kelly Danielpour.
Danielpour, 18, founded VaxTeen, a website to help teens understand vaccine consent laws in their states and which shots are required at which ages.
Although the site was founded pre-pandemic to combat HPV vaccine misinformation, Danielpour told NBC News she receives about a dozen messages every day about coronavirus jabs.
‘But since the pandemic, getting Covid-19 vaccinations has become the most prevalent issue,’ she said.
‘I am lucky because my parents are pro-vaccine, but there seems to be a lot of teens whose parents are opposed to letting them get vaccinated.’
A recent poll found fewer than one-third of parents intend to get their children vaccinated right away and more than a quarter have no plans to do so
Danielpour, who has received both shots of the Moderna Covid vaccine, says that when an adolescent reaches out, she first gives them information they can use to talk to their parents.
She told NBC News that one teen she knows got vaccinated after convincing her mother and father using resources given to her by Danielpour.
However, if unsuccessful, she sees which state they live in to see if they can consent for themselves despite being a minor.
According to a recent CNN analysis, just five states – Alabama, Iowa, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee – allow some or all children in the 12-to-15 age group to give consent without a parent or guardian.
Another teenager trying to get more adolescents vaccinated is 20-year-old Ethan Lindenberger, of Norwalk, Ohio.
He rose to fame in late 2018 after he went against his anti-vaxxer mom’s wishes and got all of his shots at age 18.
In March 2019, Lindenberger testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor, and Pensions on vaccine misinformation.
Ethan Lindenberger, 20, of Norwalk, Ohio (pictured), who got all his shots age 18 has also been encouraging to talk to their parents about their desire to get the jab
Lindenberger who received his first dose three weeks ago said he understands the pressure of going against parents’ wishes.
‘I’ve had a few people reach out to me wanting to know how to deal with parental pushback against getting vaccinated,’ he told NBC News.
He encourages any teen looking to get vaccinated to educate themselves and then speak directly to their with parents about it.
‘Teens faced with this have to weigh things like “I know vaccines are lifesaving, but I don’t want to become homeless,”” he told NBC News.
‘So I tell them: “If you can’t have that loving conversation with your parents and you’re of age, weigh those consequences seriously.”
‘Don’t get yourself kicked out or seriously in trouble…but, if you’re able to have that conversation, please get your shots as soon as possible.’