SB20-163 (Gonzales & Priola/Mullica) Colorado Healthy Communities Act
This bill would implement common-sense policy changes to help improve vaccination rates, support public health efforts and protect parental choice for those families who opt out of vaccinations. The bill would establish a statewide vaccination goal for all schools and child care facilities. It would provide additional resources and supports to help schools and communities reach this goal. Also, it would require schools to proactively notify parents of school immunization rates. It would strengthen our immunization data system by requiring all immunizing health care providers to use the state’s voluntary immunization data system called CIIS. It would standardize the immunization exemption process, while preserving the non-medical exemption option, so parents with deeply held beliefs are not required to vaccinate. It would require the use of a single, state-issued form when electing an exemption and that exemption form signed by an immunizing provider or complete state-issued online vaccine education class.
The Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill. Colorado has very lax vaccine opt-out requirements and correspondingly, Colorado kindergarteners have the lowest immunization rates in the nation. More than half a million of our students go to schools where vaccination rates are so low that they are not fully protected from vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses. We must work to increase child vaccination rates across the state to help keep our schools and communities safe, as well as protect kids who cannot be vaccinated because they are too young or have serious health conditions.
Passed out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 19 on a vote of 3-2. Erin Miller, our Vice President of Health Initiatives, testified in support.
February 21, 2020
Assigned to Health and Human Services