The governor has confirmed Iowa is scheduled to receive its first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines for younger children sometime this week.
The dosage level will be different for kids between the ages of five and 11 than it has been for adults. “We will be dispersing them to pediatricians and pharmacies,” Reynolds told reporters during a news conference in Adel on Wednesday.
In the next couple of weeks, the FDA and CDC are expected to approve giving Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to children who’re five through 11 years of age. Reynolds is making it clear she will oppose vaccine mandates in Iowa elementary schools.
“I do not believe in mandating vaccines. I’ve been very clear about that,” Reynolds said. “I’ve been vaccinated…It’s our best defense in addressing Covid-19 and the delta variant.”
But Reynolds said parents should make the decision about whether their children get a Covid shot.
“I believe that parents should be in charge of not only their children’s education, but their children’s health are, so they need to visit with their pediatrician, ask the questions they have and then parents will make the decision in what’s best for their children,” Reynolds said. “It’s not the government’s children. It’s their children.”
Reynolds, speaking at a news conference staged on a manufacturing plant and surrounded by the facility’s employees, said she opposes employment-related vaccine mandates for adults and may join a lawsuit challenging President Biden’s order, once the rule-making is done, to require vaccinations in the military, in the health care industry and in private companies with more than 99 employees.
“We’re going to see what is the best route, what are our options moving forward and how do we get this stayed, so we’re not mandating that an individual make this decision between feeding their family or getting a vaccine that they fundamentally do not believe that they should,” Reynolds said, to applause from the crowd of employees and the business’ owner.
The latest information shows two-thirds of Iowa adults are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Among Iowa teenagers, 45% of 16 and 17 year olds are vaccinated and 39% of Iowa kids between the ages of 12 and 15 are vaccinated.