Friday Media Availability for Personal Belief Exemption Bill

Bill sponsors, advocates and experts will be available for media interviews 1-2 p.m. Fri.

Contact: Tara Manthey
Title: Communications Director
Phone: (720) 256-1312

Friday Media Availability for Personal Belief Exemption Bill

Bill sponsors, advocates and experts will be available for media interviews 1-2 p.m. Fri.

PRESS ADVISORY

February 20th, 2014

In Colorado, it’s easier for parents to opt out of vaccinating children to get into school or child care than it is to prove they are protected from contracting and spreading preventable diseases. Recent outbreaks of whooping cough, a vaccine-preventable disease, in areas where there are high numbers of families claiming exemptions show that our weak opt-out rules have an impact on all children.

Colorado has the sixth-highest rate of personal belief exemption use in the U.S. and research performed in our state shows that many parents opt-out out of convenience, or without enough science-based information about the safety and efficacy of vaccinations. In addition, families who want to ensure their children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases don’t have access to vaccination rates of schools or child care centers.

A bill introduced this week in the Colorado Legislature would level the playing field for parents, whether they choose to vaccinate or not, and seek to increase the vaccination rate among the nearly 3,000 unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children entering kindergarten each year. These are among the common sense ideas that a broad task force convened by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommend to keep Colorado kids and communities healthy.

WHAT: Media availability on pending legislation to strengthen the Personal Belief Exemption.

WHO:

Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Irene Aguilar, primary bill sponsors
James Todd, MD, Department of Epidemiology at Children’s Hospital Colorado
Stephanie Wasserman, Executive Director, Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition
Cody Belzley, Vice President of Health Initiatives, Colorado Children’s Campaign
Sundari Elizabeth Kraft, concerned parent and founder of Vaccinate for Healthy Schools Colorado

WHERE: In the hall to the west of the Old Supreme Court Chambers entrance, second floor, Colorado State Capitol

WHEN: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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About Colorado Children's Campaign


The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization focused on improving the quality of and expanding access to child health, K-12 education and early childhood experiences. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tara Manthey at (720) 256-1312.