A California mother says her 13-year-old son was told to keep quiet after being given the COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for pizza at his school without her consent, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Maribel Duarte, who is vaccinated, said her son recently came home from Barack Obama Global Prep Academy in South Los Angeles with a vaccine card, telling her that he accepted the shot after he was offered pizza, the station reported.
"It hurt to know he got a shot without my permission, without knowing and without signing any papers for him to get the shot," Duarte said.
Most states require that children under 18 get parental consent before getting a COVID-19 vaccination.
The child’s school is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest in the United States.
The district told the NBC station that it follows a "safe schools to safe steps incentive program," so that vaccinated students get prizes.
The school has an overall vaccination rate of more than 80%. The LAUSD announced in September that all students 12 years of age or older must be fully COVID-vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022, unless they are granted a medical or other exemption. Unvaccinated without an exemption will be forced to shift back to virtual learning.
The Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA for people 16 and older, and authorized for people 5 to 15 years old.
Offering incentives to children and adults to get vaccinated has been tried in other states. New York has offered $100 rewards to children or free tickets to attractions. President Joe Biden has called on other states and local governments to offer financial incentives to spur on vaccinations.
Meanwhile, in the U.K., Pizza Pilgrims, Uber, Bolt, and Deliveroo are among the brands that have offered incentives to young people to get vaccinated.
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