Action Needed: Vaccine Exemptions Under Attack In Colorado

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UNDER ATTACK IN COLORADO:

RELIGIOUS AND PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS TO MANDATORY VACCINATIONS  
 
 ACTION ALERT – JULY 27, 2011
 
Scroll to bottom for immediate action
 
A select group of non-elected, unaccountable individuals participating in a workgroup hosted by the Colorado Immunization Program (CIP) wants to make it harder for you to exercise your religious and personal rights to exemption from vaccines in the State of Colorado.
 
This group plans to change the exemption form that Colorado Parents have used, and the Colorado Legislature has supported for years, to exempt their children from one or more of the vaccines required for school. They plan to make three major changes.
 
First, the new form will require parents get a signature for their personal exemption from a physician, nurse practitioner or a public health official.  This in effect changes the personal exemption to a medical one with total disregard to the fact that many Colorado families utilize alternative medicine.
 
Second, it requires the religious exemption be signed by the "religious leader".  Requiring a “religious leader” to approve a personally held religious belief is a violation of religious freedom protected by the US Constitution. 
 
Third, the new exemption form is two pages long and requires parents to not only sign an exemption for vaccines that are required for school, but also for vaccines that are simply recommended like HPV vaccine and flu vaccine. The form also states you will be asked to review this document again at 4, 6 and 12-15 months of age, then again at 4 years old and 11-12 years old. This is medical harassment.
 
The draft of the new exemption form is at the end of these BOH minutes.
 
This small group of vaccine “stakeholders”, all of whom support the idea that everyone should be vaccinated with every vaccine according to the “one size fits all” government schedule, doesn’t even think this is a rule change worthy of the appropriate public hearings and notification. They believe they can significantly change a long standing Colorado State Law without even going through the process required for a rule change, let alone the legislative process. 
 
This group only suggested “this might be a good education piece for the Board just to inform them of a form and process change and what our intent is for making this change”. http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/dc/immunization/BOH_IZ_WGMtgNotes_5-4-2011.pdf    point #3
 
Colorado has a long-standing history of supporting open records, open public meetings and transparency. This is an egregious violation of Colorado’s Sunshine Law http://www.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/PDF/OPEN%20MEETING%20REQUIREMENTS%20OF%20THE%20COLORADO%20SUNSHINE%20LAW.pdf that goes well beyond the scope of what this workgroup should have the legal authority to do. 
 
This must be stopped, not only in Colorado, but also in other states considering these types of attacks on exemptions. Washington State was the first state to do this with the passage of SB 5005 http://www.washingtonvotes.org/2011-SB-5005
 
These changes are to exemptions for school children; however those who want to make it harder for children to exempt also want ALL adults to be vaccinated too. Some healthcare workers in Colorado are being told they must get a flu shot or lose their job. Some Colorado colleges are telling students they must be vaccinated in order to register for classes, which is not true.
People of all ages in Colorado also need to know a “new and improved” tracking system is being rolled out this week that expands the amount of information that is collected without your consent and stored in the system that is designed to electronically track immunizations a person has received, thereby maintaining an ongoing and complete record to ensure the person receives all recommended vaccinations in a timely manner. http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/release/2011/062711a.pdf 
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE TODAY
1)     Please register for the NVIC Advocacy portal today at http://NVICAdvocacy.org. 
You will receive an email alert next week with detailed steps of what you can do next to help stop this. This great new tool allows NVIC to not only get email information out quickly, but it also connects you to the contact information for your state legislators. 

2)     Forward this Email and Invite People to Join Our Efforts
The most important thing we can do is to grow our Colorado list of contacts who we can count on to fight this battle with us. Start letting your friends and colleagues who care about this issue know what's going on and forward to them this email note.  Ask them to register for the NVIC Advocacy Portal at http://NVICAdvocacy.org so they can receive upcoming email updates on fighting this. 
 
This Action Alert is posted on the Colorado State Team Page of the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Thank you!
 
Sincerely,
Cindy Loveland
NVIC Colorado State Director