The state of Colorado illegally tried to collect information about unvaccinated children from parents, vaccine critics are charging.
A number of parents received a letter this month from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which said in the document that parents of unvaccinated children in school would be required to register and exempt their child through a state website.
The department later said the letter should not have been released.
The requirement would have been mandated by House Bill 1164, which died in a state legislative committee earlier this week.
Currently, parents tell the local school – and not the state – that their children are not vaccinated.
“My biggest issue is that you are trying to take my child’s information – that you have zero legislative authority to do – to track and to possibly come back to me,” parent Missy Frazier said, according to The Gazette newspaper. “Where does this end, and with whom are you going to share this information?”
The letter that some people received said the registration would begin July 1.
“We regret the letter went out and have taken corrective action with our employee regarding the letter,” Mark Salley, spokesman for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, told the newspaper.
Senator Kevin Lundberg, a Republican, opposed the bill. He also criticized the health department.
“I find it curious that the House has already killed 1164, whereas the health department has already implemented the provisions of 1164 in law on their website stating that by July 1, parents will be required to register online,” Lundberg said. “This online registration system is in complete violation of current statute. They don’t have the authority to require an online registration.”
Theresa Wrangham of the National Vaccine Information Center called the bill a “data grab.”
“They want to populate the vaccine registry and they want to know exactly who’s exempting from which vaccines, where they live and I think it’s a harassment technique,” Wrangham told a Denver TV station.
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