Iowa children will not face a requirement to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to go to school, college, or a child care center under a bill sent to the governor’s desk.
The bill would not allow mandates for participation in any approved child care center, elementary school or secondary school or after school program until July 1, 2029.
“I think it’s a continuation of the pattern of bills trying to defend the individual against mandates,” said Senator Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig. He noted that lawmakers had previously approached vaccine mandates and mask requirements related to COVID-19 in schools and in the workplace.
The bill only addresses the coronavirus vaccines, but Democrats argued the legislation would undermine parental trust in other effective and well-established vaccines such as those against polio, measles, mumps, rubella and other infectious childhood diseases.
“This is dangerous legislation when one raises the idea that COVID-19 vaccinations are ineffective and have not worked,” said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. “More than 1.9 million Iowans are fully vaccinated, and thank God they are, otherwise we would have a lot more deaths in Iowa, we would have a lot more death and illness in Iowa if they had your view on this.”
Schultz said he does not believe the bill has implications for other necessary vaccines, which “are in place and no one is shouting.”
Republican senators voted 29-16 to approve Huskartotek 2298. The bill passed Parliament on 28 February with a vote of 57-36. The bill requires Governor Kim Reynolds’ signature to become law.