Vaccine bill debated in Colorado House

DENVER - A Colorado House committee heard emotional testimony Thursday about a proposal to make it harder to send kids to school without their vaccines.

The proposal has powerful bipartisan backers but sparks intense opposition from some.

Colorado is one of 18 states that allow parents and students to opt out of getting required vaccines if they submit a statement of exemption based on religious or personal beliefs.

The bill would require students seeking a personal exemption to watch a video that discusses the benefits and risks of immunization to the student.

Susan Lawson testified against the bill, recalling how her daughter suffered brain injuries seven years ago after taking a vaccine to prevent measles, mumps and rubella when she was one year old.

"It's about choice and it's about not pressuring and using coercion to get parents to do what the government wants them to do, which is to vaccinate," Lawson told 7NEWS.

Sponsors say the change is needed because of whooping cough outbreaks and other health risks that could be prevented if more pupils were vaccinated.

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