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Colorado
State Vaccine Requirements
Posted Date: December 03, 2014


Quick Fact: Exemption is obtained by "submitting to the student's school a statement of exemption signed by one parent or guardian or the emancipated student or student eighteen years of age or older that the parent, guardian, or student is an adherent to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to immunizations or that they have a personal belief that is opposed to immunizations.” Medical exemptions are also allowed. 

Other Resources: Many vaccination and exemption information links are date specific. If the links below have expired, click on the state's department of health, or immunization program link provided below, as they are likely to provide links to updated information. The General Information link leads to the overview page provided by the state at the time of this webpage's update and may also be helpful.  Please email NVIC with broken link information. 

K-12 School Information  Higher Ed
Daycare Information

Vaccination Requirements for Healthcare Workers, Patients, Inmates & Developmentally Disabled

State of Colorado Legislature see applicable statutes and their hyperlinks below. Visit NVIC’s Advocacy Portal for information on legislation introduced impacting vaccine exemption rights. 

State of Colorado Department of Health  

State of Colorado Immunization Program

Colorado Immunization Tracking System

Colorado Immunization Tracking System Op-Out Form  - Under Colorado law you have the option to exclude your/your child’s immunization information from the Colorado Immunization Information System at any time. If you change your mind you can have your health care provider reenter your/your child’s immunization records at a later time. If you choose not to participate you are responsible for keeping your/ your child’s immunization records.  Forms: EnglishSpanishRussian & Vietnamese

The information contained on NVIC's web pages is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or legal advice. Those seeking medical or legal advice should obtain the services of a competent attorney, physician or qualified health care professional.  Although NVIC continually updates our website, state laws and rules change frequently and consumers are ultimately responsible for verifying their state's vaccination and exemption laws and requirements.

Back to Exemptions Main Page - All States 


TITLE 25. HEALTH
DISEASE CONTROL
ARTICLE 4. DISEASE CONTROL
PART 9. SCHOOL ENTRY IMMUNIZATION

C.R.S. 25-4-901. Definitions

As used in this part 9, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Certificate of immunization" means one of the following forms of documentation that include the dates and types of immunizations administered to a student:

(a) A paper document that includes information transferred from the records of a licensed physician, registered nurse, or public health official; or

(b) An electronic file or a hard copy of an electronic file provided to the school directly from the immunization tracking system, established pursuant to section 25-4-2403.

(1.5) "Child" means any student less than eighteen years of age.

(2)

(a) "School" means, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (2), a public, private, or parochial nursery school, day care center, child care facility, family child care home, foster care home, head start program, kindergarten, elementary or secondary school through grade twelve, or college or university.

(b) "School" does not include:

(I) A public services short-term child care facility as defined in section 26-6-102 (6.7), C.R.S.;

(I.5) A guest child care facility as defined in section 26-6-102 (5), C.R.S., or a ski school as defined in section 26-6-103.5 (6), C.R.S.; or (II) College or university courses of study that are offered off-campus, or are offered to nontraditional adult students, as defined by the governing board of the institution, or are offered at colleges or universities that do not have residence hall facilities.

(3) "Student" means any person enrolled in a Colorado school as defined in subsection (2) of this section.

C.R.S. 25-4-902. Immunization prior to attending school - standardized immunization information

(1) Except as provided in section 25-4-903, no child shall attend any school in the state of Colorado on or after the dates specified in section 25-4-906 (4) unless he or she has presented the following to the appropriate school official

(a) An up-to-date certificate of immunization from a licensed physician, a licensed advanced practice nurse, or authorized representative of the department of public health and environment or county, district, or municipal public health agency stating that the child has received immunization against communicable diseases as specified by the state board of health, based on recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices of the United States department of health and human services or the American academy of pediatrics; or

(b) A written authorization signed by one parent or guardian or an authorization signed by the emancipated child requesting that local health officials administer the immunizations.

(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 97, p. 408, § 1, effective July 1, 1997.)


(2) If the student's certificate of immunization is not up-to-date according to the requirements of the state board of health, the parent or guardian or the emancipated student or the student eighteen years of age or older shall submit to the school, within fourteen days after receiving direct personal notification that the certificate is not up-to-date, documentation that the next required immunization has been given and a written plan for completion of all required immunizations. The scheduling of immunizations in the written plan shall follow medically recommended minimum intervals approved by the state board of health. If the student begins but does not continue or complete the written plan, he or she shall be suspended or expelled pursuant to this part 9.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a school shall enroll a student who is in out-of-home placement within five school days after receiving the student's education information and records as required in section 22-32-138, C.R.S., regardless of whether the school has received the items specified in subsection (1) of this section. Upon enrolling the student, the school shall notify the student's legal guardian that, unless the school receives the student's certificate of immunization or a written authorization for administration of immunizations within fourteen days after the student enrolls, the school shall suspend the student until such time as the school receives the certificate of immunization or the authorization.

(4) On or before March 1, 2011, the department of public health and environment shall develop and provide to the department of education a standardized document regarding childhood immunizations. The department of education shall post the standardized immunization document on its web site on or before January 15, 2011, and each year thereafter. The standardized document shall be updated annually and shall include, but need not be limited to:

(a) A list of the immunizations required for enrollment in a school and the age at which the immunization is required; and

(b) A list of immunizations currently recommended for children by the center for disease control advisory committee on immunization practices and the recommended age at which each immunization should be given.

(5) The document created pursuant to subsection (4) of this section shall comply with the provisions of section 25-4-903(4) regarding allowable exemptions from required immunizations.
 

C.R.S. 25-4-902.5 Immunization prior to attending a college or university - tuberculosis screening process development.

(1) Except as provided in section 25-4-903, no student shall attend any college or university in the state of Colorado on or afr the dates specified in section 25-4-906 (4) unless such student can present to the appropriate official of the school a certificate of immunization from a licensed physician, a licensed advanced practice nurse, or authorized representative of the department of public health and environment or county, district, or municipal public health agency stating that the student has received immunization against communicable diseases as specified by the state board of health or a written authorization signed by one parent or guardian or the emancipated student or the student eighteen years of age or older requesting that local health officials administer the immunizations or a plan signed by one parent or guardian or the emancipated student or the student eighteen years of age or older for receipt by the student of the required inoculation or the first or the next required of a series of inoculations within thirty days.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 94, p. 695, § 2, effective April 19, 1994.)

(3) (a) Each college and university in Colorado may work to create a tuberculosis screening process with the goal of making the process as uniform as possible for all colleges and universities in the state. The department of public health and environment may attend and participate in any meetings held by the universities and colleges regarding the screening process. The screening process may include a tuberculosis risk questionnaire, a tuberculosis education policy, a clinical review process for each completed questionnaire, and follow-up testing procedures for students who are determined to be at risk for tuberculosis. On or before January 1, 2009, the colleges and universities that work to create a tuberculosis screening process pursuant to this subsection (3) shall report to the health and human services committees of the senate and the house of representatives, or their successor committees, regarding any legislative recommendations necessary regarding a tuberculosis screening process.

(b) This subsection (3) shall not apply to a university or college that provides course work solely online.
 

C.R.S. 25-4-903. Exemptions from immunization 

(1) (Deleted by amendment, L. 97, p. 409, § 2, effective July 1, 1997.)

(2) It is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian to have his or her child immunized unless the child is exempted pursuant to this section. A student shall be exempted from receiving the required immunizations in the following manner: 
 
(a) By submitting to the student's school certification from a licensed physician or advanced practice nurse that the physical condition of the student is such that one or more specified immunizations would endanger his or her life or health or is medically contraindicated due to other medical conditions; or

(b) By submitting to the student's school a statement of exemption signed by one parent or guardian or the emancipated student or student eighteen years of age or older that the parent, guardian, or student is an adherent to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to immunizations or that the parent or guardian or the emancipated student or student eighteen years of age or older has a personal belief that is opposed to immunizations.

(3) The state board of health may provide, by regulation, for further exemptions to immunization based upon sound medical practice.

(4) All information distributed to parents by school districts regarding immunization shall inform them of their rights under subsection (2) of this section. 


C.R.S. 25-4-904
. Rules and regulations - immunization rules - rule-making authority of state board of health

(1) The state board of health shall establish rules and regulations for administering this part 9. Such rules and regulations shall establish which immunizations shall be required and the manner and frequency of their administration and shall conform to recognized standard medical practices. Such rules and regulations may also require the reporting of statistical information and names of non-compliers by the schools. The department of public health and environment shall administer and enforce the immunization requirements.

(2.5) The state board of health shall promulgate rules regarding:

(a) Immunization information, including exemption rates, that is available to the public through the department, including evidence-based research, resources and information from credible scientific and public health organizations, peer-reviewed studies, and an on-line learning module; and

(b) The frequency of submission of exemption forms.

(3) The state board of health may provide, by regulation, for further exemptions to immunization based upon sound medical practice.

(4) All information distributed to parents by school districts regarding immunization shall inform them of their rights under subsection (2) of this section.

(5) Each school shall make the immunization and exemption rates of their enrolled student population publicly available upon request. 

C.R.S. 25-4-906. Certificate of immunization — forms.

(1) The department of public health and environment shall provide official certificates of immunization to the schools, private physicians, and county, district, and municipal public health agencies. Upon the commencement of the gathering of epidemiological information pursuant to section 25-4-2403 to implement the immunization tracking system, such form shall include a notice that informs a parent or legal guardian that he or she has the option to exclude his or her infant's, child's, or student's immunization information from the immunization tracking system created in section 25-4-2403. Any immunization record provided by a licensed physician, registered nurse, or public health official may be accepted by the school official as certification of immunization if the information is transferred to the official certificate of immunization and verified by the school official.

(2) Each school shall maintain on file an official certificate of immunization for every student enrolled. The certificate shall be returned to the parent or guardian or the emancipated student or student eighteen years of age or older when a student withdraws, transfers, is promoted, or otherwise leaves the school, or the school shall transfer the certificate with the student's school record to the new school. Upon a college or university student's request, the official certificate of immunization shall be forwarded as specified by the student.

(3) The department of public health and environment may examine, audit, and verify the records of immunizations maintained by each school.

(4) All students enrolled in any school in Colorado on and after August 15, 1979, shall furnish the required certificate of immunization or shall be suspended or expelled from school. Students enrolling in school in Colorado for the first time on and after July 1, 1978, shall provide a certificate of immunization or shall be excluded from school except as provided in section 25-4-903.   
 

C.R.S. 25-4-908. When exemption from immunization not recognized 

If at any time there is, in the opinion of the state department of public health and environment or the county, district, or municipal public health agency, danger of an epidemic from any of the communicable diseases for which an immunization is required pursuant to the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to section 25-4-904, no exemption or exception from immunization against such disease shall be recognized. Quarantine by the state department of public health and environment or the county, district, or municipal public health agency is hereby authorized as a legal alternative to immunization. 
 

C.R.S. 25-4-1704. Infant immunization program - delegation of authority to immunize minor

(1) There is hereby created in the department an infant immunization program which is established to immunize infants against vaccine preventable disease. Such program shall be implemented on and after January 1, 1993.

(2) Every parent, legal guardian, or person vested with legal custody or decision-making responsibility for the medical care of a minor, or person otherwise responsible for the care of an infant residing in this state, shall be responsible for having such infant vaccinated in compliance with the schedule of immunization established by the board of health; except that, failure to vaccinate a child in accordance with this subsection (2) shall not constitute sufficient grounds for any insurance company to deny a claim submitted on behalf of a child who develops a vaccine preventable disease.

(2.5) 
(a) Subject to the provisions of this subsection (2.5), a parent, legal guardian, person vested with legal custody of a minor or decision-making responsibility for the medical care of a minor, or such other adult person responsible for the care of a minor in this state, other than any employee of a licensed child care center in which the minor is enrolled, may delegate, verbally or in writing, that person's authority to consent to the immunization of a minor to a stepparent, an adult relative of first or second degree of kinship, or an adult child care provider who has care and control of the minor. Any immunization administered pursuant to a delegation of authority under this subsection (2.5) shall be administered only at a health care clinic, hospital, office of a private practitioner, or county public health clinic.
 
(b) If a parent, legal guardian, person vested with legal custody of a minor or decision-making responsibility for the medial care of a minor, or other adult person responsible for the care of a minor in this state verbally delegates his or her authority to consent to the immunization of a minor under this subsection (2.5), the person to whom such authority is thereby delegated shall confirm the verbal delegation in writing and shall verbally relay any relevant health history to the administering practitioner. The practitioner administering the vaccination shall include the written confirmation in the minor's medical record. If a parent, legal guardian, person vested with legal custody of a minor or decision-making responsibility for the medical care of a minor, or other adult person responsible for the care of a minor in this state delegates his or her authority to consent to the immunization of a minor under this subsection (2.5) in writing, such writing shall include the relevant health history, and the practitioner administering the vaccination shall include a copy of the written delegation of authority in the minor's medical record.
 
(c) A person who consents to the immunization of a minor pursuant to a delegation of authority under this subsection (2.5) shall provide the practitioner with sufficient and accurate health information about the minor for whom the consent is given and, if necessary, sufficient and accurate health information about the minor's family to enable the practitioner to assess adequately the risks and benefits inherent in the proposed immunization and to determine whether the immunization is advisable.
 
(d) A person may not consent to the immunization of a minor pursuant to this subsection (2.5) if:
 
(I) The person has actual knowledge that the parent, legal guardian, person vested with legal custody of a minor or decision-making responsibility for the medical care of a minor, or other adult person responsible for the care of a minor in this state has expressly refused to give consent to the immunization; or'

(II) The parent, legal guardian, person vested with legal custody of a minor or decision-making responsibility for the medical care of a minor, or other adult person responsible for the care of a minor in this state has told the person that the person may not consent to the immunization of the minor or, in the case of a written authorization, has withdrawn the authorization in writing.
 
(3) In addition to the immunization obligations set forth in section 25-4-905, relating to the immunization of indigent children, and except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the department shall provide at public expense, subject to available appropriations, systematic immunizations to those infants that are not exempt from such immunization pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (4) of this section. The manner and frequency of vaccine administration shall conform to recognized standards of medical practice which are necessary for the protection of public health.

(4) An infant shall be exempted from receiving the required immunizations:
 
(a) Upon submitting certification from a licensed physician or advanced practice nurse that the physical condition of the infant is such that one or more specified immunizations would endanger the infant's life or health; or

(b) Upon submitting a statement signed by one parent or guardian that such parent or guardian adheres to a religious belief whose teachings are opposed to immunizations, or that such parent or guardian has a personal belief that is opposed to immunization.

 
(a) "Institution" means any public or nonpublic postsecondary education institution in the state.
 
(b) "New student" means each incoming freshman student residing in student housing, as defined by the institution, or any student who the institution requires to complete and return a standard certificate indicating immunizations received by the student as a requirement for residing in student housing.

(2)
(a) On and after July 1, 2005, each institution shall provide to each new student, or, if a new student is under the age of eighteen years, to the student's parent or guardian, information concerning meningococcal disease, including but not limited to the following:
 
(I)
(A) Meningococcal disease is a serious disease;

(B) Meningococcal disease is a contagious, but a largely preventable, infection of the spinal cord fluid and the fluid that surrounds the brain;

(C) Scientific evidence suggests that college students living in dormitory facilities are at a modestly increased risk of contracting meningococcal disease; and

(D) Immunization against meningococcal disease decreases the risk of contracting the disease.
 
(II) Web site addresses, telephone numbers, or other similar information to assist a new student or the student's parent or legal guardian in identifying a location or locations where the new student may receive an immunization against meningococcal disease.

(b) An institution may provide the information required by subparagraph (I) of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) exactly as written or through similar language that reasonably meets the intent of the notification requirement and is based upon established and scientifically recognized medical or epidemiological data.
 
(3) On and after July 1, 2005, each institution shall require each new student who has not received a vaccination against meningococcal disease, or, if the new student is under the age of eighteen years, the student's parent or guardian, to check a box on a document provided by the institution stating that the signor has reviewed the information provided pursuant to subsection (2) of this section and has decided that the new student will not obtain a vaccination against meningococcal disease. An institution may include the acknowledgment required in this section on another signed document used to collect health or housing information that must be returned to the institution and that the institution is already required to retain for other purposes regarding the student's health or housing.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to:
 
(a) Require a student who is planning to reside in student housing to obtain the vaccination against meningococcal disease;
 
(b) Require an institution to provide or pay for the vaccination of a student; or
 
(c) Prohibit an institution from establishing additional requirements concerning meningococcal vaccination.

(5) An institution that has made a reasonable effort to comply with this section shall not be liable for damages for injuries sustained by a student as a result of contracting meningococcal disease where the student's claim is based solely upon the provision of the information required by paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section. 

 




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