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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

'My body, my choice': Central Iowa day care provider says she will not get COVID vaccine

Angeli Cristiani Childcare and Preschool isn't forcing staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Owner Nicole Scatino-Talley said it's up to the staff if they want to.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Day care providers are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine under Iowa's Phase 1B Tier 1 vaccination plan, but that does not mean they're required to get it. 

Staff members at Angeli Cristiani Childcare and Preschool in West Des Moines told Local 5 they are choosing not to get the vaccine. 

“I am choosing not to," Nicole Scatino-Talley, owner of the day care said. "However, I wouldn’t discourage my staff. I feel like it’s a personal choice.”

Scatino-Talley said she was informed by the health department, during an immunization audit, that she and her staff could get the vaccine.

"I have spoken to a couple parents about it and I think, so far, people have been OK. They respect that it’s my body my choice," said Scatino-Talley.

In fact, only one of the staff members planned to get the vaccine.

To ensure safety, staff said they take temperatures when people walk in, wash hands, and sanitize. 

Scatino-Talley said she isn't anti-vaccine, but that it's a personal choice.

"I don’t feel like that’s a concern [that kids could be pulled from the center] because we’ve been practicing safe practices and because we haven’t had a huge epidemic here, I think parents feel somewhat safe about the way we are handling things,” Scatino-Talley said. 

Iowans eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1B Tier 1 include: 

  • Those 65 years and older (eligible throughout all of Phase 1B)
  • First responders (police, firefighters, child welfare social workers)
  • PK-12 school staff, early childhood education and child care workers