DENVER — Some Coloradans headed to the State Capitol on Monday to make their voices heard on House Bill 1312, which is aimed at increasing vaccination rates.
“What this bill is doing is completely eliminating our rights as Coloradans to make the very personal and profound choice of what gets injected into our bodies and our children’s bodies,” said Phil Silberman, the president of the Colorado Health Choice Alliance.
Silberman estimated the hearing would last until 11 p.m. Monday night.
Aimee Bernard, Ph.D., is a parent and assistant director of the Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Initiative at the Anschutz Medical Campus. She spoke in favor of the bill.
“My kids are vaccinated and up to date. I’m really mostly concerned about all the kiddos out there and the adults that are immunocompromised or too young to be vaccinated,” Bernard said.
The proposed bill would create a standardized exemption form and require all exemptions to be submitted to the state or a local public health department.
“No other medical procedure out there mandates that you submit your private medical information to a tracking system. This is discriminatory toward a specific group of people,” said parent Julie Denton, who spoke in opposition of the bill.
Parents would be required to make an in-person visit to their local health department to get a signature on all personal and religious exemptions, but not medical.
Melissa Atchley tells FOX31 she fears the bill would remove her son’s medical exemption.
“The state would be deciding if he’s qualified. The doctor said yes, but the state would say no — according to the ACIP regulations,” Atchley said.
However, Bernard believes this bill is meant to target non-medical exemptions.
“It will eliminate some people that are maybe opting out just for convenience or other reasons. And I’m hoping it will decrease our [exemption] rates,” she told FOX31.