Gov. Jared Polis will soon consider S.B. 20-163, a bill that aims to protect Colorado communities by making it more difficult to receive vaccine exemptions based on religious beliefs.
This bill has passed both chambers of the Colorado Legislature, and will be on Polis’ desk soon, so please take a moment today to speak in favor of requiring religious parents to follow the same vaccine rules as nonreligious parents. You can use or adapt our talking points below, or create your own.
This bill would:
1) Require that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment develop a standardized form and submission process for those seeking a non-medical exemption to school vaccination requirements on the basis of religious or personal belief. This would oblige any person seeking a non-medical exemption to submit either a certificate of completion of an online education module, or a certificate of non-medical exemption that has been signed by an appropriate medical professional.
2) Require that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment annually evaluate, and if necessary update, the state’s immunization practices, including examining the best practices and guidelines recommended by the advisory committee on immunization practices.
3) Create a vaccinated-children standard where each school would have a student population vaccination goal of 95 percent. Additionally, this standard would require that schools annually publish and distribute to parents, legal guardians and students information on their vaccination and exemption rates.
4) Require medical professionals authorized to administer vaccinations to submit data on their immunization, medical exemption and non-medical exemption rates to the state’s immunization tracking system.