EL PASO COUNTY — It is back to school time and with it, a reminder and push to get kids vaccinated. With some vaccines Colorado has the lowest rate in the Country.
When statistics showed Colorado’s measles immunization rate for kindergarteners was the lowest in the country. ”Because it's low and with what we're currently seeing across the U.S with the measles outbreaks, Colorado is certainly at risk" said El Paso County Public Health, Immunization Program Manager, Kristi Durbin.
Governor Jared Polis took executive action. He initiated plans for better immunization education and availability. Colorado’s Governor supports vaccines, but also respects the right of parents to decide if the want their kids vaccinated.
Schools require vaccines, but parents can also opt out with proper documentation. When the opt out and no compliance numbers are high, state health leaders say the outbreak risk increases.
When families decide against vaccine for their own kids, they put others at risk. Durbin gives the example of one child’s vaccinations protecting other kids with compromised systems while battling serious illness. “You’re protecting the child who is receiving chemotherapy and they have weakened immune system. If they are in contact with someone who has measles it could be very detrimental to them,” The principle also applies to babies not yet old enough to receive vaccinations.
There is a way for parents to see the vaccination rate at the school their child attends. Colorado Public health has a link on its website showing rates at every district and every school in the state.
It allows parents to make informed decisions on the risk of disease spreading at their school
El Paso County Public health is holding a back to school vaccination clinic Saturday, August 3, 2019. It is a weekend option for families to make sure their kids are current on their vaccines. For kids who qualify the clinic is free. It run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mission Trace Shopping Center on South Academy Boulevard.