Posted: 1/16/2013 9:27:19 PM | with 0 commentsColorado and Texas are considering vaccine mandates targeting a new professional group: child care workers.
The Colorado Board of Health voted early in 2012 to pass a rule requiring health care facilities to implement mandatory employee vaccination policies with restrictive medical exemptions.
Now there is a push from the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition for the Colorado Board of Health to approve “enhanced immunizations for child care center workers.”
NVIC Calls for Dialogue and Transparency
NVIC’s Executive Director Theresa Wrangham recently attended a Town Hall Meeting in Longmont, Colorado, with legislators asking for “dialogue and transparency” when it comes to addressing policies such as this one. There is concern this rule is being drawn up behind closed doors. During meetings held last year with legislators, Theresa expressed concern about the ease with which the legislative process was bypassed and mandates enacted that impact human rights.
The best-case scenario would be for no mandate but Theresa said, “At the very least, the Board of Health should consider not just medical exemptions surrounding vaccine requirements, but religious and conscientious belief exemptions to uphold workers’ rights to exercise informed consent to medical risk-taking.” She added, “As with health care workers, this is a clear disregard of workplace rights and many professions may be the target of future rule changes and mandates.”
“We need to figure this out,” Theresa noted. “Or the erosion of individual rights is going to get much worse before it gets better.”
Texas Senate Bill Targets Child Care Workers
In Texas during the next few months, legislators will discuss SB64 requiring licensed child care facilities to develop and implement policies surrounding employee vaccination.
In 2011, two bills requiring hospitals to develop mandatory vaccination policies for health care workers died in regular session, but an addition to a Medicaid finance bill in special session quickly pushed through the new state requirement for health care workers.
NVIC’s Director of Advocacy, Dawn Richardson, said “The same Senator is back at it again in the 2013 legislative session, but now she is targeting the jobs of child care workers with SB 64.”, 
Dawn added that the push against vaccine mandates is about protecting the informed consent rights of Americans. “Vaccine mandates are creeping into the adult markets more and more,” she said. “We have to ask - who’s next and with what vaccines?”
“Are we going to get to the point where you can’t have a job without working under [vaccine] mandates?” she said. “It is one thing to say an employee has to wear safety equipment on the job. There are not many risks with safety equipment. There can, however, be significant risks with vaccines.”
Who Pays When Informed Consent Rights Are Violated?
NVIC has previously called on the Colorado Board of Health and the Texas Legislature to evaluate the bigger issues related to informed consent violations in the workplace. For example:
- Who pays the bill when a worker is injured as a result of a vaccination?
- Does the vaccine injury claim go through worker’s compensation?
- What about unemployment compensation when workers are fired for refusing vaccination?
Several of these issues have already popped up around the country. At present, proposed rule changes in Colorado for child care workers have not been published, and it is unclear if such rule change proposals will address outstanding questions and their potential impact to taxpayers, or which vaccines are under consideration for mandate.
In Texas, SB54 will be heard in committee soon. There will be opportunities for the public to offer testimony. Users of the NVIC Advocacy Portal get the latest news about new vaccine mandate bills introduced in the states and are put into direct contact with their elected state representatives so they can make their voices heard.
on Jan. 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM