Colo. outreach program tries to boost immunization rates and reporting

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kathy Hill is a health clerk at Central Elementary School in Longmont. With a few clicks of her mouse, she can find out which of the school’s 340 kindergarten through fifth-grade students are up to date on their immunizations and which ones have “personal belief exemptions” because their parents have opted them out of some or all of their shots.

On a recent day, she did just that using the Infinite Campus data system. Her search revealed that 14 students, or about 4.1 percent, have no immunizations due to personal belief exemptions and 27 students have exemptions for certain immunizations, often Hepatitis B or chicken pox, but are up to date on others.

Hill’s data queries, which she efficiently sandwiched between helping a student with an itchy patch of skin and another who came in with a headache, provide exactly the sort of data that schools will be required to disclose by law beginning next year with the passage of House Bill 14-1288 last Friday. Originally, the bill also contained a provision to make it harder for parents to obtain personal belief exemptions, but a Senate committee stripped the bill of that measure last month.

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