Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) is defending the state’s vaccine exemption standards following a measles outbreak. Polis said he believes vaccinations work and are important, however, he stopped short of supporting increased vaccine exemption restrictions.
“It’s important that parents vaccinate their children, but you can’t do that at the point of a gun,” Polis told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton during an interview on “Rising.”
“When the government tries to force parents to do this, it creates distrust in both vaccinations and distrust in government,” he added.
Public health experts say that lower vaccine rates are causing increased measles cases throughout the country. States are under pressure to increase vaccine exemption standards, but supporters of parental rights and liberty believe this is largely government overreach.
Rep. Kyle Mullica (D) is currently writing a bill that eliminates the ability for parents to gain a personal choice exemption. Gov. Polis is opposed to the bill because he feels it eliminates parental rights.
“Most states have a waiver process that’s slightly different in different states, and yet Colorado has a lower rate and so clearly we need to change some of our policies to try to encourage people to do what’s best for their kids,” Polis said.
Colorado is also considering allowing teenagers to get vaccines without parental permission as a way to increase immunization rates. The state may also deploy a public awareness campaign that encourages pregnant women to get vaccinated.