Bipartisan effort discourages opting out of vaccines

5:49 PM, Feb 21, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - A bipartisan group of Colorado state lawmakers is supporting a bill that would make it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children.

HB 1288 would require parents to jump through some hoops in order to opt out of immunization on the grounds of personal beliefs.

The bill would require parents who wish to opt out to get a health professional's signature stating that they were informed of "the benefits and risks of immunizations to the student and the community."

In the alternative, parents would have the option of taking an online class prepared by state officials discussing the risks of skipping immunizations.

Advocates point to data from the CDC showing that Colorado has the sixth highest rate of kindergarteners going without vaccinations due to "non-medical" reasons.

It's still a small minority of children overall, at a rate of four percent, though heath professionals caution that even a small group of non-immunized people can pose heath risks to the community at large.

Those who choose not to immunize do so for a variety of reasons. Some are skeptical of preservatives included in various shots, others have religious objections, and some do not trust the government and pharmaceutical industry's push for immunizing as many people as possible.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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