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  1. Sandi says

    I discovered today that the CDPHE has an information document for schools on their website about the changes passed to increase the frequency of filing non-medical exemptions. The odd thing is that it also says:

    “”Beginning July 1, 2016, parents/guardians seeking medical and non‐medical exemptions for school entry will access the appropriate forms at http://www.colorado.gov/vaccineexemption.”

    “This rule change affects parents/guardians seeking medical and non‐medical (religious and personal belief) exemptions for children aged six weeks through 12th grade attending a Colorado school or licensed child care facility. This rule change also affects schools, licensed child care facilities and the state health department as the responsibility to collect exemption forms will transition to CDPHE.”

    “Vaccine exemptions will no longer be recorded on the official Certificate of Immunization. Beginning July 1, 2016, separate medical and non‐medical vaccine exemption forms will be available online at http://www.colorado.gov/vaccineexemption .

    For a medical exemption, the parent/guardian will download the form, take it to their healthcare provider for signature and return the form to CDPHE via fax or mail.

    For a non‐medical exemption, the parent/guardian will complete the form online. Once submitted, the non‐medical exemption form can be printed for the parent/guardian’s records.”

    So, according to this, it has already been decided that exemptions will be submitted direction to the CDPHE starting July 2016. Are they just assuming that this bill will be passed or is this already decided? (in which case I don’t understand the point of this bill). Why would they create a publish a document stating that exemptions must be submitted directly to the CDPHE if this is still up in the air?

    • Stephen Craig says

      This is a great question! C.R.S 25-4-903 (2.5)(b) gives the state board of health the authority to promulgate rules regarding the frequency of submission of exemption forms.

      However, to my knowledge, the Colorado Revised Statutes do not require parents or legal guardians who seek a personal or religious exemptions to use any specific form, such as the current Certificate of Immunization or some future online form. Rather, the law says that “A student shall be exempted from receiving the required immunizations in the following manner:…By submitting to the student’s school a statement of exemption signed by one parent…that the parent…is an adherent to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to immunizations or that the parent…has a personal belief that is opposed to immunizations.”(C.R.S 25-4-903 (2)(b)). A statement is indeed required by law. However, the only specificity as to the format of the statement is that it must be a signed statement and therefore, presumably, a written statement.

      CHEC is currently seeking clarification from the CDPHE regarding the statements in their document that appear to go beyond what is currently allowed by law.

      We will post an update on this question when it becomes available.

  2. Sandi says

    In addition to the specific form they are referring to, they have also stated that the filings will no longer go to the schools, but directly to the state. As I understand it, this is exactly what HB16-1164 would require.

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