Official: State still can inoculate kids without parental OK

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s top health official has dialed back claims by lawmakers that state health clinicians won’t follow a decades-old policy letting providers vaccinate certain minors without parental consent.

Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters Friday the Mature Minor Doctrine is used in “very nuanced and fringe situations.”

She said she met Thursday with Sen. Kerry Roberts after he said the day before that health and school officials would not administer the COVID-19 vaccine to children without parental consent.

She said Roberts now recognizes unique cases, including teenagers in situations where a parent can’t accompany them.

The rarely used doctrine lets providers vaccinate children 14 and up without parental permission.