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A 16-year-old male was reportedly given four booster shots at the Iowa Boys State Training School despite having a religious exemption. The boy’s mother told The Iowa Standard she had not given any consent for the incident to occur.

Her son called her after the incident happened and told her he tried explaining to staff the family does not vaccinate. However, he was told they were boosters he had to have and he had no choice, according to the mother.


“And he said they gave them to him and then made him sign paperwork afterward — after the medication was administered,” she told The Iowa Standard. “He said, ‘I know there’s nothing I can do to change it or reverse it.’ This is crazy.”

The young man had only been at the school for a few days. The mother connected with his juvenile corrections officer who she said was also taken aback by the information. He had forwarded all the information to the school, according to the mother. He also said he didn’t understand why they would make such a mistake.

According to the mother, the facility nurse confirmed her son was given DTAP, TB, HPV and a flu shot. An administrator from the facility also called her to apologize for the mistake and reassure her that her documentation for the facility not to medically treat him is in his file.

“I’m just taken aback by the fact that they didn’t consult me — they didn’t refer back to that document,” she said. “They just took it upon themselves to administer these boosters. Not one, but four.”

The Iowa Standard reached out to the Iowa Boys State Training School but hasn’t been provided a statement. Alex Carfrae, the public information officer for the Department of Human Services, said on Saturday afternoon DHS would prepare a response and provide it to The Iowa Standard as soon as possible. This story will be updated when that happens.

As for the mother, she is still in shock.

“I don’t know right now,” she said. “I’m sure something will come to me later on down the road. Imagine the number of children that go through that intake process that this happens to and they don’t have parents to advocate for them.”

Author: Jacob Hall

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