Letter: Colorado’s ‘opt-out’ vaccine exemption policies not as lax as columnist stated
Well, once again Dr. Phil Mohler has not bothered to get his facts straight. In his May 1, 2015 column on childhood vaccines and herd immunity, he states “Finally, Colorado is home to one of the easiest ‘opt out’ personal vaccine exemption policies in the country. One signature on one piece of paper once and your kindergartner is exempted from all immunizations through high school.”
Apparently Dr. Mohler didn’t bother to check with the Colorado Department of Health. Because if he had, he would have been aware that on April 15, 2015, the health department implemented a new rule that “Beginning in July 2016, parents seeking non-medical exemptions for pre-kindergarten children will need to submit exemption forms at each age when recommended vaccines are due. Then from kindergarten through 12th grade, they will need to submit exemption forms annually.” This information can be verified at http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/new-immunization-rules-boh.
As for the immunization rates he lists at the front of the article, two out of the three schools are charter schools. You can find the current immunization opt out rates at http://co.chalkbeat.org/2015/02/09/immunization-database.
Just go to the bottom and search for Mesa County Valley District 51 for a listing of all the schools in our county. Just keep in mind that it does not break down if the exemption is personal, religious or medical and if a child has declined or missed just one dose of one vaccine the parents may have filled out an exemption form.
Sharon M. Anable, D.C.
Grand Junction, Colo.
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