Senators Gonzales and Priola, bill sponsors, presented Senate Bill 20-163 and distributed a handout (Attachment A).
School immunizations. Under current law, most students must either submit a certificate of immunization, a certificate of medical exemption, or a statement of nonmedical exemption for an immunization for a religious or personal belief to attend school. The bill allows students to attend school after completion of an online immunization education module by their parent or guardian, or by the student if age 18 or older or emancipated.
The bill codifies a definition of nonmedical exemption to mean an immunization exemption based on a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to immunizations or a personal belief that is opposed to immunizations. The bill also establishes a vaccine-protected children standard with an immunization rate goal of 95 percent for every school.
Revised documentation. The Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) must revise its standardized document regarding childhood immunizations to include a place on the document where a school can include their specific immunization and exemption rates. The document must be provided to the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services by January 15, 2021, which must post the standardized document to their respective websites by January 31, 2021. CDPHE must also revise and post its standardized certifications of medical and nonmedical exemption by January 1, 2021. The certifications must inform individuals of their right to exclude their exemption information from the immunization tracking system, collect only pertinent information related to the exemption, and must not identify specific religious faiths or personal beliefs.
Online education module. CDPHE must administer an online learning module that uses scientific, evidence-based, and peer reviewed information to present the benefits and risks of immunizations. The learning module must incorporate interactive elements. The CDPHE currently maintains an online learning module regarding immunizations, however it does not contain interactive elements.
Annual evaluation. CDPHE must annually evaluate the state's immunization practices. The State Board of Health will review the evaluation and may update immunization practices for the state in response to the evaluation.
Immunization tracking system. The bill requires, as applicable, health care practitioners to submit immunization, medical, or nonmedical exemption data to the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) maintained by the CDPHE, which is not required under current law.