Colorado ranks No. 2 in parents declining to vaccinate kids
A new survey puts Colorado second-highest for parents refusing vaccines for their kids, a trend that increasingly troubles state health officials.
Vaccine advocates in Colorado said the Associated Press tally of vaccine refusals reflects an abysmal state rate for preventive shots. They said Colorado’s education system makes it too easy to opt out of shots, and a highly educated population is rejecting vaccinations out of too much bad information.
Parents still cite a fraudulent autism study when refusing shots in Colorado and other states, said Dr. Simon Hambidge, director of general pediatrics at Denver Health Medical Center.
“The number of people exposed to measles, mumps and other viruses because of that deception is truly astounding,” Hambidge said.
The AP survey of states said 7 percent of Colorado kindergarten students took exemptions from immunizations in 2010-11. Alaska had the highest exemption rate, at nearly 9 percent, the AP said.
Mississippi had the lowest exemption rate at essentially 0 percent.
-By Michael Booth. The Associated Press contributed to this report.