1. Do I have to immunize my child if I home educate? Unless you have a medical or religious exemption to immunizations, you are required to submit evidence of immunizations when submitting your reporting form for the first time. If you have a medical or religious reason for not immunizing your children, you are expected to submit the Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Immunization Exemption Form with your initial CPI Form.
2. What are the required immunizations? The Iowa Code section governing childhood immunizations states that diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, rubeola, rubella, chicken pox, and hepatitis type B are required for children enrolled in accredited schools or under competent private instruction.
The Centers for Disease Control also has a list of recommended Immunizations. Their latest recommendations can be viewed and downloaded here:
Parents need to be well informed about immunizations. You can find helpful information about immunizations on the internet and there are numerous books available on this subject. We recommend that you educate yourself about this important issue. 3. Do home schooling families qualify to take the religious exemption? A recent change in the immunization religious exemption allows for more families to take advantage of this option. Recent court decisions have upheld the rights of individuals seeking exemptions from immunizations based upon personal and religious reasons. It was determined by the court that a state may not deny an exemption simply because a person is not a member of a formal religious organization. Subsequent court rulings have declared that restricting religious exemptions from vaccination solely and exclusively to bona fide members of a recognized religious organization to be unconstitutional. To that end home educators in Iowa can take the religious exemption for immunizations. There is no longer a requirement in Iowa stating an applicant must be a member or adherent of a recognized religious denomination or bona fide church to take the religious exemption for immunizations. It is important to remember that the Certificate of Immunization Exemption for religious reasons is valid only when notarized. Religious exemptions shall become null and void during times of emergency as determined by the State Board of Health and declared by the Director of Public Health. This part of the regulation has not changed. The form you need to file is called Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Immunization Exemption. Complete this form and have it notorized. You should make a copy and send the original to your district.
Serving Families Homeschooling in Iowa - Since 1992 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators - firstname.lastname@example.org - (515) 830-1614 - (800) 723-0438 in Iowa