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New bill aims to boost Colorado vaccination rates

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DENVER (KRDO) -- This week, a new bill attempting to boost the immunization rates in Colorado will be introduced. 

It would try to tighten the exemption process, requiring parents to opt-out using a signed document from a medical professional or watch an online video created by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, according to Democrat State Sen. Julie Gonzales of District 34, who will be one of the bill's sponsors.

Currently, parents can submit a form to opt-out.

Pam Long is a board member for the Colorado Health Choice Alliance. She says one of her children had an adverse reaction to a vaccine.

"So I'm no longer a consumer of these products for that child and my other children," she said.

That organization, along with the Colorado Springs-based Medical Autonomy Colorado, opposes the proposal.

Dr. Robin Johnson with El Paso Public Health says most parents in Colorado do vaccinate their children, but many do not.

"I think Colorado struggles with this as some other states do," she said.

Johnson says any opportunity to touch-base with a physician before making a medical decision is recommended.

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Kristen Skovira

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