DENVER — This week, state legislators plan to introduce a new bill aimed at boosting Colorado’s immunization rates while preserving the option to decline vaccinations. It would attempt to standardize and tighten the exemption process but still allow for choice.
State Sen. Julie Gonzales (D-District 34) will be one of the bill’s sponsors. he says parents will have options if they do not want to vaccinate their children.
“Under the bill, as it is currently drafted, parents will have a choice. Parents can either participate in watching an interactive video that will be developed by the Board of Health, or they can go to an immunizing provider who can sign off on their form,” Gonzales said.
The goal, she said, is to ensure safe and healthy schools and child care facilities, and to offer protection for those who are vulnerable. Colorado has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
But people like Phil Silberman, with Colorado Health Choice Alliance, oppose the changes. He’s not alone.
Last year, hundreds of parents descended on the Capitol to fight changes to vaccine policy.
Silberman says to expect that once again this year.
“Why would one go to a medical provider to validate one’s religious or philosophical beliefs? It makes no sense at all,” he said.