Support for SB20-163 School Entry Immunization

Why we support Senate Bill 20-163

Colorado’s vaccination rate for kindergartners is one of the lowest in the nation.

63% or 545,216 of all students are without full protection from vaccine preventable disease.

When it comes to our state’s protection against measles, alone – we find ourselves with one of the lowest immunization rates in the nation at 87.4%

This past June, Governor Polis issued an executive order “to improve rates and directed public health agencies to take immediate action…to increase the statewide rate to 90% by next June.”

Health experts say to achieve herd immunity, 93% – 95% of the population must be immunized.

Senate Bill 20-163

  • Creates a “vaccine-protected children standard, whereby the immunization rate goal for every school is 95% of the student population to be vaccinated.”
  • Every school will be required to publish its immunization rate and exemption rate that will be annually distributed to parents, legal guardians, and students of the school.
  • Requires the Dept. of Public Health and Environment  to develop standardized forms and submission process…for claiming nonmedical exemption for religious or personal belief.

As recently as this past December, three unvaccinated children traveling through DIA from another state tested positive for measles and ended up in Childrens’ Hospital (Aurora), forcing DIA to put out a notice to the public that any passengers on the DIA Concourse, train to the terminal, baggage claim and passenger pickup between certain hours on that specific date had been exposed.

Just within the past few weeks, 6 employees at the Keystone Ski Resort were diagnosed with mumps

Incidents such as this are just a small sample of how vulnerable we are considering our low rate of immunization.  We owe it to our most vulnerable (young, old, and those who suffer from illnesses that prevent them from taking the vaccine) to make sure we do everything possible to protect them.

You can support this vitally important legislation by going to this link and sending an automated email to legislators.