20 States Allow Parents To Refuse Vaccinations For Kids (Video)

| by Michael Allen
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Colorado State Sen. Tim Neville, a Republican, wants Colorado parents to decide whether or not their children will be vaccinated.

Neville's Senate Bill 77 would allow parents in Colorado to opt their kids out of vaccinations, mental health care and sex education.

But the state already has a law in place that gives parents control of their children's medical decisions, notes Fox 31 Denver.

Colorado kindergartners have the lowest rate of measles vaccination in the U.S., noted The Denver Post.

“Vaccines are important to people, sure, we’ve had vaccines for many things, the problem is, it should be up to the parents,” Neville told CBS Denver (video below).

“There’s no way that government can take care of all the needs of children if parents don’t step up and aren’t put in charge of their own children again,” added Neville.

Child protection advocates claim the bill would instead place children at risk by giving more power to parents who may be neglectful or abusive.

Colorado is one of 20 states that allow parents to use personal belief exemptions to not have their kids vaccinated.

"We do know that states that have philosophical exemptions tend to have not only high rates of exemption, but also high rates of disease," Saad Omer, a professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University, recently told Mother Jones. "We have found that the more difficult the requirements are, the lower the rate of exemption and the lower the rate of disease."

The types of people who are placed at risk from unvaccinated people are babies and children with compromised immune systems. For example, someone with HIV who cannot be vaccinated for measles because of medical reasons is put at risk by someone who makes the choice not be vaccinated.

NPR recently reported on a 6-year-old boy who had cancer and is at risk of catching the measles from people who choose not to be vaccinated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2014 that 85 percent of people who chose not to be vaccinated for the measles and became infected  made their choice based on religious, personal and philosophical reasons.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Fox 31 Denver, The Denver Post, Mother Jones, NPR  Image Credit: Fox 31 Denver