Back in February, before COVID-19, we avidly supported Senate Bill 20-163, as did Jeffco PTA and Colorado PTA.
We pointed then to the incredibly concerning statistics that “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.”
In this recent article by Michael Booth for the Colorado Sun: Colorado is still seeing a sharp drop in the number of kids being vaccinated amid coronavirus, Booth reports that
“childhood and adolescent vaccines administered in Colorado dropped by 19% during the first six months of the COVID19 pandemic compared with the same period last year…”
According to the Executive Director of Immunize Colorado, “in 2018, 11,000 kids were hospitalized or went to the ER in Colorado for a vaccine-preventable disease, and that was before a pandemic.”
Public health officials warn: “the gap in regular vaccinations combines with the ongoing threat of COVID19 and the fall start of flu season to create a triple threat more concerning than the pandemic start in the spring.”
As we enter into the flu season and the fall start up for schools, when kids and school staff will be sharing more common spaces (regardless of efforts for social distancing), we want to encourage parents, and adults of all ages to make sure you not only consider health professionals’ advice for yourselves, but just like wearing a mask, do it for others. Do it for the ones you love.
For more information on vaccines/immunizations in Jefferson County:
Jefferson County Public Health: https://www.jeffco.us/2104/Immunizations
Info on SB20-163:
The bill was met with a huge opposition (mostly based on misinformation about the bill and immunizations). SB163 doesn’t force anyone to get vaccinated/immunized, it’s intent was to simply establish an immunization rate goal for every school, make it a little more difficult for parents to opt their child out, and make it possible for parents who are concerned about the immunization rate at their child’s school to have easy access to that information.
Senate Bill 20-163 http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-163
- 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.