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Parents Learn Children Entered into Registry Without Consent and Legislative Authority


Date: Wednesday, April 01, 1998 12:33 AM
To: PROVE members and interested parties

Subject: Texas Registry Update 3/31/98

Hello Friends,

Last week, we met with the Texas Department of Health on Friday, March 20th - the last day of the public comment period. After reviewing the audio tape of our discussions, I became suspicious of the collection procedures to enter children's records into the registry. Monday morning, March 23,I called TDH to ask if my daughter, born in 1996, was in the registry, and SHE WAS! Rest assured, I NEVER gave consent for this. (We had all been told up to this point that it was only operational in the public sector.) TDH faxed me my daughter's ImmTrac report. The important thing here to remember is that TDH was not legislated authority to collect private sector data until September of 1997 in House Bill 3054, and then, they are only authorized to do so with written consent of the parent!

After telling some senators' aides, a chain reaction occurred that aides from many offices called and found to their dismay and shock that their children were already in ImmTrac as well. We discovered that TDH has been taking the records from the Bureau of Vital Statistics (Birth Certificates) to set up all the personal information in their computers for everyone since 1994! Over 3.3 million children! This prompted Senator Patterson to send a formal letter of inquiry to TDH's lawyers asking some very pointed and specific questions about this illegal action.

Since HB 3054 prohibits the release of immunization record data from the registry without written parental consent, TDH Immunizations committed a class A misdemeanor for each release. This prompted Representative John Shields to issue a News Release of TDH violating the law. We have been told by Senator Patterson's office that the Health Commissioner requested a meeting with Senator Patterson to discuss some of these issues.

In addition, PROVE is sending one of the founding mothers, Rebecca, to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Immunization Registries Workgroup on Privacy and Confidentiality in New Orleans on Monday April 6th. She will speak as a parent concerned with these issues and living in a state where we first handedly experienced misuses of authority and violations of our privacy and confidentiality. In addition, Senator Patterson is sending one of his aides to be there as a Texas Legislative representative. We are also investigating the legislative authority for federal money being channeled to state registries through CDC grants when a national registry was already defeated in Congress

Now we are waiting to see if the rewritten rules adequately address our concerns. We will keep you all posted. Thank you for all of your support. A special thanks to those of you who followed up with your State Senators and Representatives. It really has paid off!


Dawn Richardson
PROVE(Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education) (email) (web site)
PROVE provides information on vaccines, and
immunization policies and practices that affect the
children and adults of Texas. Our mission is to prevent
vaccine injury and death and to promote and protect
the right of every person to make informed independent
vaccination decisions for themselves and their families.
Any information obtained here is not to be construed as
medical OR legal advice. The decision to vaccinate and how
you implement that decision is yours and yours alone.

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