P.O. BOX 2910
AUSTIN, TX 78768-2910
(512) 463-0544
FAX: (512) 463-9974

District 67

P.O. BOX 940844
PLANO, TX 75094
(972) 424-2235
FAX: (972) 424-6730

November 19, 1998

Mr. Robert D. Crider, Jr.
Director, Immunization Division
Texas Department of Health
1100 W. 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756

Dear Mr. Crider:

When I wrote you last on September 8th, I had to comment at length on matters of concern to me about how the Department’s proposed rules were--in my view--thwarting the will of the Legislature relative to implementation of HB 3054. 1 must now commend you and the Department on the substantial and refreshing changes in the proposed rules which soon may be adopted. I briefly want to make two suggestions before offering my congratulations on a job well done.

I still oppose grand fathering of all data that was inputted prior to September 1, 1997. and would further recommend that those households whose records were obtained in wake of the effective date of the legislation be sent consent forms and all data deleted if the consent form is not returned signed. Under the procedures which up to now have been used to gain consent for inputting data into the vaccination registry, few families may actually have been aware what they were signing off on.

I would also suggest that the check-off box on the birth certificate be eliminated since the act of consenting to vaccination at birth has been construed by TDH to automatically provide consent for participation in the vaccination registry. The latter was intended to be presented ONLY as a VOLUNTARY opt-in decision, and thus it is inappropriate to bundle together consent for vaccination administration with consent for participation in the vaccination registry.

We have an obligation to not violate a parent’s or child’s privacy or ability to chose whether or not to divulge confidential material, and should be careful to nurture their and the public’s trust by the manner in which we steward our compilation of vaccination registry data and handle such sensitive information. Thank you for attempting to make sure these items have been addressed in your proposed rules.

Jerry Madden