Polis acts on immunization

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Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, drew ire from members of his own party earlier this year when he opposed a bill that would have made it less convenient for parents to obtain vaccine exemptions.

On June 13 — the same day new state data showed that Colorado’s dismal immunization rates had dropped even further — Polis issued an executive order aimed at increasing awareness of and access to life-saving childhood vaccines.

The executive order directs the state Department of Public Health and Environment to, among other initiatives:

• work with communities to determine the root causes of low immunization rates;

• propose standardized, easy-to-print vaccine exemption forms; and

• implement an annual education and outreach campaign to address “vaccine hesitancy” and access to treatment.

For the 2018-19 school year, just 87.4 percent of kindergartners had received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. That’s well below the 92-94 percent rate needed for “herd immunity.” 

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