Iowa-AAP Opposes Bill Expanding Immunization Exemptions

The Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is opposing legislation (HF 7) that would allow an exemption from the state’s compulsory immunization law based on someone’s “personal conviction.” Current Iowa law (Iowa Code 139A.8) allows for exemptions only if (1) a medical professional attests that immunizing would be “injurious” or (2) immunization would conflict with the “tenets or practices” of a person’s “recognized religious denomination.”


An American Academy of Pediatrics statement on childhood immunization calls it one of the “crown achievements” in public health and a major component of pediatric health care and disease prevention. The statement recommends permitting only medical exemptions to school entry immunization requirements.


Sixteen states currently allow conscientious or philosophical exemptions to compulsory immunizations. Such laws were blamed for a 2014 outbreak of measles in California and other states – the worst in 20 years.


Several other medical and educational organizations have registered against HF 7. The House Human Resources will consider the bill; it is not yet assigned to a subcommittee.


Update: This legislation stalled in the House Human Resources Committee (more).