DES MOINES, IOWA — A bill is moving forward at the Iowa Statehouse that would ban schools and daycares from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for their students.
The bill just passed through the House Education committee on Thursday and could be set for debate in the House within the next month. It would encompass both private and public schools K-12, colleges and universities.
There are little to no schools requiring COVID-19 vaccines from students, only one postsecondary school requires it; which is Grinnell College. A sponsor of the bill said that he is hearing about schools possibly wanting to mandate it in the future.
“So there are schools out there that are,” said State Representative Henry Stone (R) from Forest City. “We have heard rumors and words that schools are trying to implement this possibly mandate, now that any 5 and older (can get the vaccine).”
Opposition to the legislation is that this should be handled on a case-by-case basis. One State Representative thinks this shouldn’t be a law anyway.
“I don’t think we should have a bill either way,” said State Representative Ruth Gaines (D) from Des Moines. “Let’s just see what happens and address it accordingly to our own district and our own people.”
The bill moves forward into the House Republican and House Democrat caucuses. The Speaker of the House commented on Thursday about how the COVID-19 vaccine is different than other ones mandated currently by schools.
“And you know everyone says well we have other vaccines and other things that you have to have,” said State Representative Pat Grassley (R) from New Hartford. “Well, number one there are exemptions for those. But also it is a fairly unique circumstance being on a trial basis. Not sure we really know what those long-term impacts are.”
The bill can be viewed online here. It is sponsored by 30 Republican State Representatives which could indicate how quickly the bill could move along.