Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert clarified over the weekend that she thinks vaccinations should always be a “personal choice,” regardless of the circumstances.
Colorado doesn’t mandate that residents get any type of vaccination, but Boebert’s stance would go further, stopping the state from requiring, for example, that most workers at licensed medical facilities get the flu vaccine, as Colorado law currently states.
Colorado also stops short of mandating that children get recommended vaccinations in order to attend public school
Instead, Colorado allows parents not to vaccinate their kids for medical or nonmedical reasons, as long as parents obtain a written medical exemption or take an online education module.
Boebert opposes such requirements, which passed into law this year.
“I believe that that is a personal choice,” Boebert, who also thinks mask-wearing should be optional, told KVOR radio host Jeff Crank on Saturday, referring to vaccinations. “And people should be able to talk with their doctors and make that decision, not having government come in and forcing that decision on people. So that should be between patients and doctors, not have more government intervention.”
Boebert erroneously told Crank that Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, wants to “mandate vaccines and hold our children’s education hostage.”
Eighty-seven percent of Colorado kindergartners have taken recommended vaccinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the lowest in the country for that age group.
And it’s short of the 90-95% required for herd immunity, making Colorado vulnerable to an outbreak of measles or other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Boebert faces Diane Mitsch Bush to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
Bush recently released an ad stating that “even in the largest health crisis of our time, [Boebert] is still anti-vaccine.”
The contest is a tossup, according to polling released to journalists.
Updated with a quote from a Bush advertisement.