Colorado to debate whether more parents should vaccinate their kids

DENVER -- To vaccinate or not vaccinate your kids?

It's one of the most controversial debates in the medical community and it's poised to soon take center stage at the Colorado State Capitol.

Representative Kyle Mullica (D) has publicly announced that he is introducing a bill to remove vaccine exemptions in Colorado.

Citizens of Colorado, who say they are standing up to protect their right to refuse medical procedures, are concerned about how this legislation removes the last layer of consumer protection for this product and the huge impact it will have on school budgets.

"If and when they decide to introduce this bill there will be at least a thousand people at the Capitol," Philip Silberman, a parent who has chosen not to vaccinate his child, said.

Silberman  helps advocate for Colorado Coalition for Vaccine Choice.

"She is very, very healthy," Silberman says -- discussing his daughter.

"We came to the conclusion that we are not going to vaccinate," Silberman said.

"We are one of the easiest states to exempt out of vaccines or immunizations," Rep. Kyle Mullica (D-Northglenn) said.

Mullica is a trained ER Nurse and is the main lawmaker addressing vaccinations at the Capitol this year.

Mullica tells FOX31 political reporter Joe St. George he wants to introduce the new vaccine bill that is aimed at addressing the fact Colorado ranks dead last in immunizations for Kindergarteners according to the CDC. 

Currently, parents can not vaccinate their child and send them to school if they file a medical exemption, a religious exemption, or a personal belief exemption.

Mullica is open to eliminating the personal belief exemption.

"I was surprised to learn there are 49 states that report and we are 49th," Mullica said.

"We want our students to go to school and be safe," Mullica added.

But there remains large doubt about whether this could become law or not this year in Colorado.

"This is a parents' rights issue," House Republican Leader Patrick Neville said.

Neville said conservatives will fight this alongside liberal Democrats -- emphasizing he believes Governor Jared Polis is on his side.

Polis, in fact, did an interview in Washington recently seeming to suggest he is opposed to eliminating the personal belief exemption.

"When government tries to force parents to do this it creates distrust in both vaccinations and distrust in government," Polis told Polis told Hill TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.

Mullica confirmed disagreements with Governor Polis but that it wasn't deterring him from having a debate on vaccinations.

"We probably have some disagreements with the governor on this," Mullica said.

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