The Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (IA AAP) supports the continued use of masks for children as a mitigation effort for COVID-19 and other illnesses for the duration of the 2020-21 school year. We encourage parents and students to do what would be best for others around them whether it is required or not. IA AAP is disappointed in the decision of our state late Wednesday night regarding mask mandates in schools. This may lead to a rise in illnesses, including Covid-19, just when the children in our state are looking forward to summer break and greater opportunity to be outdoors and play.
We also encourage all Iowans that can get vaccinated to take that opportunity. There is solid research and evidence they are both safe and effective. Currently many Iowans under 12 years of age are still in schools and ineligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Those 12-15 will not be fully vaccinated before school is out and many adults have still not been vaccinated. Until we have enough Iowans immune to this illness it will have ample room to spread and cause potentially severe illness and death.