By Jessica Mathews /

A local lawmaker introduced a bill on Tuesday that would prohibit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from requiring minors to receive a COVID-19 vaccination under emergency public health orders.

Although there has never been a state mandate or order requiring minors to get vaccinated, Republican State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township said in a press release that it’s important to do everything they can to protect parents’ right to choose what is best for their children and families. She said the state shouldn’t be able to require a minor to get a COVID-19 vaccine, nor should having a vaccine be conditional for youth to attend school or anything else, for that matter – adding its entirely a decision that should be made by families alone.

In addition to prohibiting MDHHS from issuing emergency public health orders that require minors to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Theis said Senate Bill 457 would also prohibit local public health departments from issuing the same type of order.

COVID-19 vaccines have been approved only for children ages 12 and older and require parental consent. National health officials have stated that it could be many more months before vaccines are authorized for use in younger children.

When asked for comment, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Lynn Sutfin told WHMI “There are no plans at this time to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan”.