IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: OPPOSE SB 892 and HB 1896
Bills create a Lifetime (birth to death) immunization registry for all
Texans and allow the State to receive and keep information without consent.
Dear Texas PROVE Members,
They are at it again. For ten years our money has been funneled to a
poorly functioning, mostly unwanted immunization registry. Now some
legislators have decided to give it a shot in the arm by turning it into a
lifetime tracking system for all Texans, plus giving the health department
permission to keep information without consent.
SB 892 has been scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Human
Services committee on Tuesday, 5-8-07. Please call and email or fax your
letters of opposition to SB 892 as well as HB 1896, which may be used in
its place, to members of the committee and your own State Senator. Tell
them, YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION TAKEN WITHOUT CONSENT . THE
HEALTH DEPARTMENT SHOULD NOT RECEIVE INFORMATION WITHOUT A PATIENT'S
KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT. YOU DO NOT WANT THE REGISTRY EXPANDED. Then finish by
asking your State Representative to oppose HB 1896 if it comes up for a
vote before the House for the same reasons. Place your Senate and House
calls on Monday. Emails and faxes can be sent immediately.
SB 892 by Senator Zaffirini turns the current immunization registry into a
lifetime immunization and screening registry for everybody. This bill will
expand the registry to include early childhood screening records and any
other test the department considers necessary. The results will also be
included. This information is currently confidential and private. If this
bill passes it will flow just like immunization records without your
consent. You will only be able to refuse inclusion in the registry. Your
medical privacy will be further violated by another state information grab.
HB 1 896 by Representative Donna Howard which does not contain screening
information, may be substituted for SB 892. The problems HB 1896 are
PROBLEM 1: This bill authorizes the department to retain individually
identifiable information about a person without consent. It only prohibits
the department from disclosing it to other users of the registry until
consent is obtained. Individually identifiable information will be in a
state database without your knowledge or permission.
PROBLEM 2: The bill claims to allow you to "opt-out" of the registry,
however there is nothing that prevents the state form retaining information
in another database. The bill directs the department to "exclude the
patient's immunization records from the registry and any other
registry-related department record that individually identifies the
patient", not all department records.
PROBLEM 3: HB 1896 turns the current childhood im munization registry
(ImmTrac) into a lifetime registry, for all Texan's (young and old),
requiring the Department of State Health Services to keep immunization
information on a person until their death, unless the individual requests
in writing to have their records removed from the registry. With this
change, individually identifiable immunization information for a person 18
years of age or older will be submitted to the department, where it will be
kept with or without permission. Consent determines where the information
will be stored, not if.
PROBLEM 4: This bill requires the department by rule to develop guidelines
to determine the process by which consent is verified. This means that an
unelected bureaucrat, unaccountable to the people of Texas, heading a
department with a record of disregarding the law with respect to the use of
patient information will have total control over consent acquisition and
PROBLEM 5: The s ame unelected bureaucrat will be allowed to determine by
rule the information contained in the immunization record. All boundaries
for what can be taken from the medical record and stored have been removed.
PROBLEM 6: While persons who negligently release or disclose information,
fail to exclude information, or improperly use registry information are
considered to have committed an offense, there is no penalty. Therefore no
protection for individuals in the registry.
Those supporting this bill are currently claiming it is necessary to
protect public health. Yet the past has shown that immunization is at times
detrimental. Consider the problems caused by the swine flu vaccine, lyme
vaccine and the rotavirus vaccines. Problems which pale in comparison to
more than a billion dollars begrudgingly paid through the compensation
program to families of once healthy children, injured or killed in the name
of public health.
The only purpose for which such a database is necessary is to support
coercive measures against parents, individuals and physicians who may
disagree with one or more of the State's medical requirements or
recommendations. Recently parents sent a clear message to legislators by
demanding that a mandate for a vaccine with no track record, unknown
efficacy and unproven safety be reversed. Parents and individuals have
demanded the right to make informed health care decisions.
In order to preserve the small amount of trust that remains between public
health proponents and much of the public, PROVE believes that legislators
who feel we need a registry should simply allow physicians to send only
consented records to the department. This was the intent of the original
registry bill in 1997,and will eliminate time and money wasted on consent
verification while insuring voluntary inclusion. Forced inclusion allowing
for requested exclusion (opt-out) is bad policy. If this registry can't
operate on voluntary inclusion, respecting the doctor patient relationship
and medical privacy, then it shouldn't exist at all.
Please place your calls and send your letters.
Senate Health and Human Services Committee Members:
Senator Jane Nelson, chair (512) 463-0112
Senator Bob Deuell, v-chair (512) 463-0102
Senator Kyle Janek (512) 463-0117
Senator Robert Nichols (512) 463-0103
Senator Dan Patrick (512) 463-0107
Senator Eliot Shapleigh (512) 463-0129
Senator Carlos Uresti (512) 463-0119
Senator Royce West (512) 463-0123
Senator Judith Zaffirini (512) 463-0121
Please be polite and give the aide your name and the city you are calling
You may go to http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/Members.htm to find
your Senator and send emails from their individual websites. You will also
find fax numbers listed under office information. Include Lieutenant
Governor Dewhurst in communications.
Your State Representative can be located at
http://www.house.state.tx.us/resources/faq.htm#who_rep . Please be sure to
call and write them as well as Speaker of the House, Tom Craddick.
For those that wish to attend the Senate committee hearing it will be at
9:00am, Tuesday, May 8, 2007. It will be held in the Senate Chamber. You
may view the agenda at
Thank you for your help and continued support. Without you, the registry
outlined above would already be a reality.
Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education