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Legislative committee considers vaccine bill

Posted: 5:50 PM, Apr 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-15 20:19:51-04

COLORADO- Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would add more steps to the process for parents wanting to exempt their children from vaccinations.

If the bill passes, the state health board and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will also adopt federal standards of immunization as a requirement for students to go to school.

“I think anytime the government starts deciding what you need to do as a parent, that’s a big problem for me,” said Jessica Lee, a parent in Colorado Springs.

If the bill passes, it would change a few things in the process.

Parents wanting to exempt their children for personal or medical reasons would need to fill out a form in person, for the first year of exemption, to a state or local public health agency.

Additionally, the state would have a more in-depth system when it comes to tracking exemptions and immunizations.

The state currently tracks immunization data but is working to increase participation among health care providers.

Currently, CDPHE estimates about 45,000 students and childcare participants claim a non-medical exemption for vaccinations every year.

“There are kids that can’t get vaccines and it’s so easy for things to spread and it’s such a simple thing to do,” said Elizabeth Flannery, a Colorado Springs parent.

Flannery has two children, she believes it’s important for parents to vaccinate their children, and supports legislators bringing this bill forward.