Recent News

Records Show Over Half the Kids at Some Colorado Schools Aren’t Vaccinated

Feb 26 2020

If you’ve been following the effort at Colorado’s Capitol to make it more difficult for parents to opt their kids out of school immunization requirements, you’re likely aware that the state has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation. But how low is low? A Colorado Times Recorder records request to the Tri-County Health Department, which covers Douglas, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties, revealed that several schools in the area had MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination rates that fall well below 50 percent for kindergartners during the 2018-2019 school year.

Source: Colorado Times Recorder Colorado Times Recorder

Vaccines, Misinformation, And The Internet (Part 1)

Feb 26 2020

In the first of two episodes exploring anti-vaccine misinformation online, we hear the story of what happened to Cincinnati-area pediatrician Nicole Baldwin when her pro-vaccine TikTok video made her the target of harassment and intimidation from anti-vaccine activists online. Renee DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory explains their tactics and goals.

Source: NPR NPR

Colorado Senate passes new vaccine bill requiring parents who don’t vaccinate to take new steps

Feb 25 2020

State lawmakers have a new bill they hope will boost Colorado's dismal vaccination rates among school-age kids. Senate Bill 163, which was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Feb. 25 and referred for a vote of the full chamber, would standardize the process of obtaining a vaccine exemption for non-medical reasons. It's sponsored by Sens. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver, and Kevin Priola, R-Henderson. Last year, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis frustrated some Democratic lawmakers when he said he wouldn't sign a similar bill, House Bill 1312 — stopping that bill in its tracks. Specifically, Polis opposed a requirement for parents to submit exemption forms in person at a state or local health department.

Source: Colorado Springs Independent Colorado Springs Independent

Social Media Stokes Myths About Vaccines

Feb 24 2020

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults has mistaken beliefs about vaccines, and misinformation is more common among those who rely on social media than on traditional media, a new study finds. Researchers surveyed nearly 2,500 adults nationwide in the spring and fall of 2019, when the United States was dealing with its largest measles outbreak in decades, and found that up to 20% of respondents were at least somewhat misinformed about vaccines.

Source: U.S. News & World Report U.S. News & World Report

A single-dose HPV vaccine would have a big impact on cancer prevention

Feb 24 2020

As the father of three teenagers, as a son whose father lost his battle with cancer, and as a physician-scientist who specialized in cancer research for more than four decades, I was heartened by the recent and welcome news of continued declines in US cancer mortality rates, driven by continued reductions in tobacco use, increased early detection strategies, and the development of immune therapies. Even sharper declines can be realized by implementing more aggressive and comprehensive proven cancer prevention and control strategies.

Source: STAT News STAT News

Letter: Public policy needs to reflect public’s need for vaccination

Feb 24 2020

I read with great interest the article titled “New vaccine bill draws crowd of 600 at Colorado Capitol.” I am glad that our public policy might finally mirror the kinds of conversations that I have with families every day about the importance of vaccinating their children. I have this conversation for two reasons. First, I am a pediatrician and all the available science tells me that a critical way to keep kids healthy is to vaccinate them against serious and often deadly but preventable diseases. If that seems like an obvious statement, consider that Colorado currently has the lowest kindergarten vaccination rates in the nation for many childhood diseases such as measles.

Source: Longmont Times Call Longmont Times Call

A record-breaking 105 US children have died from flu so far this season

Feb 21 2020

​So far this season,105 children have died from the flu, according to data released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the highest number of child flu deaths at this point in the season since the CDC started keeping records in 2004, except for the 2009 flu pandemic. It has been an "unusual" flu season with a higher proportion of children and young adults affected than the older population, according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The earlier prevalence of influenza B -- a flu strain that tends to be more common in children -- could be a reason why more children were affected, Schaffner said. Also, as the number of influenza B cases decreased, the number of H1N1 cases increased, he said. H1N1 is a subtype of the influenza A strain, which also affects children more than adults.

Source: CNN CNN

Why Some Colorado Parents Reject Vaccines Has A Lot To Do With History And Our Western Culture

Feb 21 2020

The pressure modern parents feel to make the right child-rearing decisions is just one reason some decide not to have their kids vaccinated, or to forgo certain vaccines, according to sociologist Jennifer Reich. The author of “Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines” also believes the reason for Colorado’s low vaccination rates — state kindergartners have the lowest rate in the nation for the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine — has roots in western independence. As the Colorado legislature considers a bill that would tighten the requirements for parents who want to opt their kids out of vaccines, people from both sides of the debate have lined up to weigh in.

Source: Colorado Public Radio

Chamber of Commerce endorses vaccination bill

Feb 14 2020

A policy committee of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce voted on Thursday to support a bill aimed at boosting vaccination rates among schoolchildren. “Vaccines are an effective and proven way to prevent diseases and save lives, which also leads to lower health care costs down the road,” said Loren Furman, senior vice president for the Colorado Chamber. “Our members in the business community strongly support Senate Bill 163 because increasing Colorado’s inadequate childhood immunization rate will lower costs and improve public health across the board.” The Chamber’s HealthCare Council, one of five policy committees that interacts with legislators and regulators, focuses on legislation that affects the cost of healthcare. Furman added that the cost to treat diseases that vaccines are intended to prevent is “significant”.

Source: Colorado Politics Colorado Politics

Doctor who died by suicide may have falsified children's vaccination records, sheriff says

Feb 14 2020

Authorities are investigating the medical records of a Chicago-area pediatrician who died by suicide after finding a note that raised questions over his vaccination practices, sheriff's deputies said. Dr. Van Koinis died in September, but the Cook County Sheriff's Office said that when investigating his death, there were "record keeping issues" that made it unclear which patients received vaccinations and which did not. Investigators also found evidence to suggest that Koinis did not vaccinate children at parents' requests, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Source: USA Today USA Today