Like many political issues, the Covid-19 vaccine has become a hot topic in quarreling families. Getting vaccinated despite parental protest is a difficult decision that many young Americans have been confronted with.
Currently, the age group with the lowest vaccination rate is 18-24 year olds, with only a 51.1% vaccination rate. One of the many factors to this low statistic is that 18-22 year olds are often economically supported and influenced by their parents who may be against Covid vaccinations.
The fear around the Covid-19 vaccine can be very emotional for parents, fearing for their child’s safety. An anonymous SJHHS alumni has had a similar experience, getting secretly vaccinated due to parental disapproval. The source’s parent isn’t against all vaccinations, and the source claims to be fully vaccinated with the standard vaccines required for public schools.
However the source’s parent “was worried about it not being tested enough,” because “it came out kind of fast”. The source’s parent went so far as to offer them financial compensation for not taking the vaccine, “she was going to pay me not to take it,” they said. “She said she’d give me one thousand dollars.”
So far, 1032 American college campuses have required Covid vaccinations for the 2021-22 school year. This has increased the rates of 18-22 year olds getting vaccinated when they otherwise wouldn’t, also allowing young adults with disapproving parents to be openly vaccinated. The source’s university requires all students to be vaccinated to be on campus, so they were able to tell their parents eventually, making the decision to get vaccinated easier. “It wasn’t difficult [to make the decision], it was more like ‘should I tell my mom or not?’”.
Telling a disapproving parent that you are vaccinated is a daunting task, and is one that the source undertook. “She kept on trying to argue,” said the source, “I knew at some point she had her own agenda, I just tried to ignore it.”
In California, minors are not permitted to get vaccinated without parent or guardian approval, resulting in conflicts over how much power minors should have over their health. The source has a younger sibling who goes to SJHHS and is unable to get vaccinated if they wanted to because their parents won’t allow them to. “Eighteen seems a little old, it doesn’t seem fair if these kids have to go to school.”