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Could vaccine exemptions change in Colorado?

DENVER – Mandating nearly every kid in Colorado to get vaccinated – that’s an idea one state representative is tossing around.

On Friday afternoon, Representative Kyle Mullica held a public meeting at the state capitol to allow families to share their concerns, and from the big turnout it’s obvious that there’s a lot of people who are skeptical of this kind of idea.

In Colorado, students in school or licensed child care are required to be vaccinated against certain diseases unless they have a medical or other exemption on file.

However, Representative Mullica said there’s a problem – the state is seeing an increase in preventable diseases. It’s endangering public health and costing taxpayers millions, so he wanted to look at removing some of those exemptions.

Parent Lindzee Schwartz said, “We do not believe that the government should be mandating health choices. That is up to each parent.”

Schwartz believes her kids are at a greater risk of being hurt by a vaccine due to family history after what happened to her nephew.

“His brain got completely inflamed and he will have chronic issues for the rest of his life.”

Jessica Eberhart, a certified epidemic answers health coach, said, “Not everybody has the same genetic makeup, not everybody has the same genes…having a one size fits all approach for something like vaccination or any medical procedure for that matter really needs to be looked at carefully.”

A concern for Mullica is that Colorado ranks last in kindergarten vaccine rates. He wants to figure out how to keep all kids safe and prevent epidemics. While his idea sparked controversy with some, people were open to having the conversation.

Schwartz said, “I think it’s amazing what he did. Not a lot do that. They don’t actually sit down and just listen, and that’s huge.”

Representative Mullica said there is no way medical exemptions would or should ever be eliminated. To be clear – this is not moving through the legislature. Friday was simply a listening session.

Caiti Blase

Caiti Blase

Multimedia Journalist
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