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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2298 into law on Tuesday. The bill prohibits requiring the COVID-19 injection in order to be enrolled in any licensed child care center, elementary or secondary school or postsecondary school in Iowa prior to July 1, 2029.

The bill passed the Iowa House with bipartisan support on Feb. 28. It passed the Iowa Senate on May 24.


Democrat Sen. Zach Wahls said he was concerned the bill could lead to restrictions on other vaccinations.

Democrat Sen. Joe Bolkcom said the bill reduces confidence in parents to receive all vaccinations. He said the bill “undermines” vaccinations, especially in kids.

“This is dangerous legislation when you raise the idea that COVID-19 vaccinations are not effective and haven’t worked,” Bolkcom said. “More than 1.9 million Iowans are fully vaccinated. And thank God they are. We’d have a lot more fatality in Iowa, we’d have a lot more death and sickness in Iowa if they had your view on this.”

Bolkcom said the bill is taking Iowa down the wrong path and shows they’re listening to the “extreme voices.”

“We don’t need to make polio great again,” Bolkcom said during debate.

Democrat Sen. Claire Celsi also spoke against the bill. Celsi said the bill “punishes” parents for lack of good public health guidance because children will have to miss school by contracting COVID, thus causing parents to miss work to care for their children.

Republican Sen. Jason Schultz noted parents could still choose to vaccinate their kids if they desired to do so.

Democrat Rep. Sharon Steckman spoke against the bill in the House.

Democrat Representatives Ras Smith and Kristin Sunde voted in support of the bill.

Republican Representative Brian Lohse voted against it.

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