P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2009
AUSTIN — The Texas House of Representatives today approved SB 346 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, enhancing the state's ability to maintain immunization records. This is Senator Nelson's first bill of the session to be sent to the governor's desk.
"This legislation is intended to ensure that accurate vaccination records follow our children as they transition into adulthood. These records are frequently needed as young people enter college, the military, study-abroad programs and the work force," Senator Nelson said. "It feels good to have our first bill through the legislative gauntlet."
Under current law, a minor's immunization records are automatically deleted from ImmTrac, the state's immunization database, upon their 18th birthday. SB 346:
- Allows parents to opt in to having their minor child's records kept in a secure, segregated database for one year beyond a child's 18th birthday;
- Maintains these records indefinitely if the child opts in prior to his or her 19th birthday;
- Directs DSHS to create and distribute educational information about this option to the parents of children whose vaccination records are included in ImmTrac.
The Texas Department of State Health Services recently announced that the state's rate of immunized children increased by 13.5 percent from 2004 to 2008. Texas ranks 22nd among states with the highest percentage of children who have received immunizations.