Recent News

Child vaccination rate low in some areas of the Roaring Fork Valley

Apr 16 2019

Immunization rates for measles, mumps, polio and other highly contagious diseases show that some local schools are at a much higher risk of an outbreak than others. Garfield County’s westernmost school districts, Garfield 16 and Garfield Re-2, had higher complete immunization rates. Garfield 16 had vaccination rates of 95 percent, and Re-2 had a 96 percent immunization rate for each vaccine except for chickenpox. Schools in the geographical region of the Roaring Fork School District Re-1, however, had a lower average immunization rate of 93 percent for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio and diphtheria, according to self-reported data collected by the state and provided by Garfield County Public Health.

Source: Glenwood Springs Post Independent Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Debate on changing Colorado’s vaccine exemption process stretches into the night

Apr 16 2019

​Moms and their children paced the halls of Colorado’s Capitol for hours on Monday as they waited to testify about whether the state should change the way it gives vaccine exemptions to parents who claim a personal or religious objection. House Bill 1312 would require parents to visit Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment in person the first time they request an exemption and fill out a standardized form instead of giving a written notice of exemption to a school upon registration. There were nearly 600 people signed up to speak at the hearing, with the majority opposing the bill in the first few hours of Monday’s debate. Supporters say it’s a small step toward increasing Colorado’s kindergarten 88.7 percent vaccination rate — the lowest in the country. Opponents, however, believe the bill violates their privacy and harasses parents who chose not to vaccinate.

Source: The Denver Post The Denver Post

Vaccine Exemptions: Bill Would Make It Harder For Colorado Parents To Opt Out

Apr 15 2019

​Colorado could be the next state to pass a law to get more children vaccinated. Lawmakers are debating the new bill Monday afternoon. The bill requires the state health department to develop a standardized form and a strict process for parents who choose to not immunize their children — whether it be for medical, personal or religious reasons. Additionally, the bill will overhaul how the state keeps track of who has received immunizations. The bill’s sponsors say they want schools to be safe for all kids. But on Sunday, some parents protested the bill outside of the state Capitol.

Source: CBS Denver CBS Denver

HUDSON | A worthy move to tighten child-vaccination requirements

Apr 15 2019

During the first half of the 20th century Denver was famous for its many municipal lakes and beaches. Thousands of residents and visitors spent summer afternoons sunbathing and swimming. Remnants of these can be found in the now repurposed bathhouses in Berkeley, City and Washington Parks. Denver’s beaches were closed, as they were in tens of thousands of communities across the country, following polio outbreaks after the Second World War. Paralytic poliovirus was frequently identified in the stomachs of patients and, therefore, believed to be ingested. It was hypothesized, likely incorrectly, that ponds and lakes served as reservoirs for this disease. Polio lingers today only in Afghanistan and Pakistan where the Taliban claims the vaccine is designed to sterilize Muslim men. As the Colorado Legislature considers strengthening vaccination requirements this week, it is worthwhile to consider the experience of the last generation, still with us, to grow up before vaccination science perfected inoculations against the plethora of childhood diseases. During my first three years of elementary school in Idaho Falls, Idaho, I fell victim to polio, measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever and whooping cough. I only escaped the mumps.

Source: Colorado Politics Colorado Politics

To Some Colorado Parents, Vaccines Are A No-Brainer. To Others, They're Battlegrounds

Apr 10 2019

On a recent visit to the Child Health Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Stephanie Ramirez holds her 15-month-old son Oliver. Oliver is wearing a blue t-shirt that says “Mom’s Little Dude.” He’s at the clinic for a shot called Dtap, for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. “Whhhaaaa!!!” Oliver lets out a wail as a medical assistant administers the shot. But Ramirez said it wasn’t a hard decision to give her “little dude” the immunization. “It’s safer to me, in my opinion,” Ramirez said. “It just keeps the illnesses away.” Her doctor, Christina Suh, counsels families about the benefits of getting kids vaccinated, how it protects them from serious diseases and complications. But not all parents agree with Dr. Suh.

Source: CPR CPR

Colorado lawmaker hopes bill will get more kids vaccinated

Apr 10 2019

​A Colorado lawmaker wants to increase the state’s vaccination rate among students. Representative Kyle Mullica (D-Adams County), introduced HB19-1312 this month. It calls for changes to the immunization requirement process – including exemptions – for Colorado students. The bill is scheduled for its first hearing, House Health, and Insurance, Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. “The idea really came up before I was even sworn in,” said Rep. Mullica. “The [Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment] informed us we were last in the country for our kindergarten vaccination rates. And as a nurse, that concerned me, not only as a nurse but also as a dad as well.” Mullica, who works as an ER nurse and has a kindergarten-age child, himself, cites data published online by the Centers for Disease Control. According to the CDC, the vaccination rates for Colorado kindergartners ranks 49th out of 49 states on the list. For the 2017-2018 school year, the CDC says an estimated 88.7 percent of Colorado kindergartners received the MMR vaccine (for measles, mumps, and rubella), compared to the national median of 94.3 percent. Colorado rates were also lower than other states for the DTap and Varicella vaccines.

Source: 9News 9News

US measles tally hits 465, with most illnesses in kids

Apr 09 2019

U.S. measles cases are continuing to jump, and most of the reported illnesses are in children. Health officials say 465 measles cases have been reported this year, as of last week. That’s up from 387 the week before. The numbers are preliminary. The 2019 tally is already the most since 2014, when 667 were reported. The most before that was 963 cases in 1994. Outbreaks have hit several states, including California, Michigan and New Jersey. New York City accounted for about two-thirds of the U.S. cases reported last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the numbers Monday. Roughly 80% of the cases are age 19 or younger. The CDC recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine. It says the vaccine is 97% effective.

Source: Sentinel Colorado Sentinel Colorado

What’s The History Of Vaccinations In Colorado?

Apr 08 2019

​There's a lot of news around vaccinations right now. Measles outbreaks are popping up in New York and California. As a result, Colorado lawmakers want to address the fact the state ranks dead last nationwide in vaccination rates for kindergarten students. Public health experts have warned that makes the state ripe for an outbreak. A bill introduced Friday aims to increase that rate by making it harder for parents to exempt their children, but Gov. Jared Polis has indicated he’s skeptical. All the vaccination talk prompted Toni Freed to ask Colorado Wonders: “What is Colorado's policy on mandatory vaccinations and how did it evolve?" Freed has a personal connection to the issue. Both her uncles contracted polio before there was a vaccine for it.

Source: CPR CPR

Guest commentary: Vaccinations are a must to stop outbreaks, make communities safe

Apr 01 2019

Today, there are outbreaks of measles in Oregon, Washington, New York, Texas and Illinois and individual cases in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky and New Jersey. More than 206 people had been confirmed to have the disease in 2019 alone — a threefold increase from the same period in 2010. Believe it or not, measles was declared eradicated from the United States in 2000. Now we hear daily of families afraid to leave home with their newborn for fear of contracting the disease. These outbreaks are a blunt reminder of how vulnerable we are in Colorado. For the 2017-18 school year, Colorado’s vaccination rate for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) ranked 49th out of 50 states, with a coverage rate of 88.7 percent for two doses of MMR, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Colorado allows for three types of exemptions (medical, religious and personal) for children to be able to attend school without immunizations.

Source: The Aspen Times The Aspen Times

Vaccinations: Your Choice, Others’ Children

Apr 01 2019

In 2000, the U.S. declared that it had eliminated measles within its borders. On January 15, 2019, an adult who had traveled overseas went to a few retail outlets and an urgent care in Stapleton before being diagnosed with measles and hospitalized. “We got lucky,” says Dr. Sean O’Leary, a Stapleton parent and pediatric infectious disease and vaccine specialist with the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital, and also a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The Public Health Department tracked down everywhere this person went and who they came into contact with, and there were no secondary cases in this instance.” Elsewhere in the U.S., hundreds of measles cases have found their way into ERs this year, part of a growing number of vaccine-preventable diseases on the rise. A thoroughly debunked study combined with alarmist social media have created fears of vaccines in some parents’ minds. A longitudinal study of over 600,000 children, however, just last month affirmed—again—that there is no link between autism and the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine.

Source: Stapleton Front Porch Stapleton Front Porch