KENNER, La. — There’s a lawsuit brewing in Jefferson Parish over a teenager who received the COVID-19 vaccine at school without his parent’s consent.
Jennifer Ravain, of Kenner, says her 16-year-old son received the vaccine at East Jefferson High School on Wednesday without her consent.
An Ochsner mobile vaccination clinic rolled in to vaccinate teenagers, but her son was able to sign the consent form himself, underage.
As outlined by the Louisiana Department of Health website, a parent’s signature is required for anyone under 18 years old who wants the shot.
Attorney G. Shelly Maturin, who represents Ravain, called the situation a “nightmare” and “lawless behavior,” and says other underage students got the shot without consent as well. He wrote in a statement to Eyewitness News:
“The egregious and reckless actions of Ochsner and East Jefferson High school went well beyond any legal and moral bounds and at a minimum, constitute a battery upon the minor child. Their actions should shock the conscience of all citizens of Louisiana.”
Maturin says he’s exploring every avenue to hold Ochsner and the district accountable.
Ochsner Health System apologized for the misstep at East Jefferson High School and says it’s revising its school vaccination program.
A spokesperson wrote in a statement to Eyewitness News,
“While we firmly believe in vaccinating adolescents to keep them safe from COVID-19, this should be done only with parental consent. Our team has been notified that a student was vaccinated without proper parental consent at a school vaccination event on October 20, 2021. We have procedures in place to ensure that all policies are followed; however, in this instance, this did not occur. We have taken immediate action to review our on-site vaccination policies and to ensure that these policies will be strictly enforced moving forward.
As a leading healthcare provider in this community, we value the trust that parents put in us to care for their children, and we are revising our school vaccination program to ensure that this does not happen again.
We are in communication with the parent who brought this to our attention. We offer our sincere regret and apology for any distress this has caused.”
We reached out to Jefferson Parish Public Schools to ask if the vaccination clinic was approved by the board or superintendent, and ask questions about how the situation unfolded.
Jefferson Parish Public Schools released a state late Friday night:
“Today, we were made aware of an incident that occurred this week during a vaccine event held by Ochsner Health, whereby a student received a vaccine without parental consent. Ochsner Health officials have informed us that they are conducting a thorough investigation of the vaccine event to ensure this was an isolated incident and does not occur again.
We believe that broad participation in vaccinations reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission and is essential to keeping our schools and community safe and healthy. Jefferson Parish Schools has partnered with multiple healthcare partners to provide vaccination opportunities to eligible employees and students since vaccines first became available. Our standard operating procedures include obtaining written consent from a parent or legal guardian prior to a student receiving the vaccine during an event conducted at one of our schools.
We will continue to work with Ochsner Health and our other healthcare partners to ensure vaccination events conducted on our campuses follow this process.”