VACCINATIONS

How do you really feel about public health safety?  Do you want to feel confident when you go to a hospital or clinic that you don’t need to worry whether the employees working there have had the appropriate immunizations?

Would you like to go skiing and not have to worry about you, your child, or other family members contracting mumps or any other serious disease or illness?

Would you like to know that your child is not being exposed to diseases unnecessarily because of the low immunization rate in their classroom or school?

These are all topics of legislation currently being introduced in our state Capitol.

This recent article where employees at Keystone Ski Resort were identified as having contracted mumps should be a reality check.  https://www.outtherecolorado.com/colorado-ski-resort-sees-mumps-outbreak-with-multiple-cases-confirmed/?fbclid=IwAR0EV4x-c50NULM5s56J-tcx-FyDV3iYLd5VE6juBqs-Fq0aAWgQHHK7G2o

“The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says mumps is a contagious viral disease … It is spread through saliva, meaning it can be contracted through kissing, coughing, sneezing, talking, or touching contaminated objects or surfaces.”

Interestingly enough, there’s a bill that’s been introduced by Senator Marble and House Representative Saine that would prohibit employers from taking “adverse action” against an employee or applicant for employment based on their immunization status.  This includes licensed health facilities.  This bill has been directed to the Senate State Veterans Affairs (aka the Kill Committee), but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be concern that it even existed in the first place.  Senate Bill 20-084 http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb20-084

Another concerning bill that’s been introduced is HB20-1239 http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1239 sponsored by Representative Dave Williams, it is written in the same fashion as the anti-abortion legislation from 2017 (A woman’s Right to Accurate Health Care Information) SB20-284  http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb17-284

An additional concerning piece of HB20-1239 is this phrase:  “Prohibits health care providers, health care facilities, health insurers, and schools from treating people who delay or decline vaccinations differently than people who have received vaccinations”

As many members of the medical profession will tell you, it is in fact because these people are not immunized that they need to be treated differently because they may be carrying vaccine-preventable illnesses and expose those who can’t be vaccinated, due to being immuno-compromised or too young, to life-threatening infections.  Hence, the concern about SB20-084.

Two additional bills that have been introduced and the members of our medical professional community are concerned would indirectly impact any vaccinations laws are:

House Bill 20-1063 – Fundamental Family Rights in Colorado

http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1063

House Bill 20-1144 – Parents’ Bill of Rights

http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb20-1144

A letter expressing concern that these 4 bills, if passed, would have detrimental impacts to the health, safety and well-being of Colorado’s children and communities was recently sent to legislators by these organizations (listed below – letter attached).  Please note the organizations are largely physicians, nurses, hospitals, and medical organizations.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Colorado Chapter
Children’s Hospital Colorado
Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials
Colorado Association of School Nurses
Colorado Chapter, American College of Physicians
Colorado Children’s Campaign
Colorado Community Health Network
Colorado Hospital Association
Colorado Medical Society
Colorado Parents for Vaccinated Communities
Colorado PTA
Denver Health
Every Child Pediatrics
HealthONE Hospitals/Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
Healthier Colorado
Immunize Colorado
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
What it comes down to is:   How do you really feel about public health safety?

Joint letter of opposition to 1063 1144 1239 and 84