She showed up anyway. In the worst case, she thought, the school would just turn her away.

Apparently they only took note of their mother’s approval. Elizabeth held out her arm in silence.

Now it’s in a cucumber. The school is demanding that students be vaccinated for the fall semester, and she says her father started arguing with the administration over the problem. Elizabeth fears that if he learns how she was vaccinated he will be furious and tell the school, which will punish her for deceiving vaccinators, that she is applying for college.

Gregory D. Zimet, a psychologist and professor of paediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, pointed out the irony that the law prevents an adolescent from making a choice that has been strongly urged by public health officials. He said teens 14 years of age and younger weigh the risks of a vaccine at least as well as adults. “Which is not to say that adults are necessarily great at this,” he added.

In many states, young teenagers can make contraceptive and sexually transmitted infection choices that he noted “are in many ways more complex and demanding than vaccination.”

Pediatricians say even vaccinated parents are careful with their children. Dr. Jay Lee, a family doctor and chief medical officer of Share Our Selves, a community health network in Orange County, California, said parents would rather risk their child suffering from Covid than get the new vaccine.

“I will confirm your concerns,” said Dr. Lee, “but I point out that waiting to see if your child gets sick is not a good strategy. And no, Covid is not just like the flu. “

Elise Yarnell, a senior clinic operations manager for the Portland, Oregon area in Providence, a major healthcare system, recalled a 16-year-old girl who showed up at a Covid vaccine clinic at her school in Yamhill County.