Bill would require parents’ written consent for childhood vaccinations

DES MOINES — A bill to require written permission from parents for any vaccinations for their children has cleared a Senate subcommittee.

Health care groups and the Iowa Department of Public Health say parental consent is required under current law, but written as well as verbal consent is allowed. Iowa Public Health Association executive director Lina Tucker Reinders says taking away verbal consent could delay necessary vaccinations for kids.

“Verbal consent allows for parents to have those important conversations with their providers or child providers about any questions they have about the vaccinations that their children are about to be given,” she says. “Requiring written consent would impede upon these conversations.”

Members of a group that opposes vaccines say they support the bill because they’ve heard stories of teenagers who were given a COVID-19 shot without parental consent. Reinders says they should provide evidence to the Board of Medicine so those cases can be investigated.

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