UPDATE, 10:13 AM WEDNESDAY: A hearing on this bill before the House Health and Insurance committee that was planned for Wednesday has been postponed because of the approaching snowstorm.
A Colorado lawmaker wants to increase the state’s vaccination rate among students.
Representative Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn, has introduced House Bill 1312. It calls for changes to the immunization requirement process – including exemptions – for Colorado students.
“The idea really came up before I was even sworn in,” said Mullica. “The [Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment] informed us we were last in the country for our kindergarten vaccination rates. And as a nurse, that concerned me, not only as a nurse but also as a dad as well.”
Currently, religious and personal belief exemptions for students in kindergarten and older require a statement of exemption annually from the child’s parent or guardian, according to CDPHE. Mullica says his bill will not change exemptions.
The Colorado Health Choice Alliance, an advocacy group that believes vaccination can be harmful, has come out against new state requirements. Pam Long, a representative of the group, told CPR News that HR 1312 is "just the slippery slope to making exemptions difficult and impossible to obtain."
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