The Senate of
The State of Texas

Jon Lindsay
District 7

March 19, 1998

Dr. William Archer, Commissioner
Texas Department of Health
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, TX 78756

Dear Commissioner Archer:

In the past few days I have been contacted by several constituents regarding House Bill 3054. In the next few weeks, TDH will be adopting rules for the "Immunization Registry" established in HB 3054.

While I understand and support the Health Departments desire to increase childhood immunization rates, I am also concerned about the privacy issues which arise with any personal health care information. That is why I voted for Senator Patterson's amendment to HB 3054. Section 161 .007(a)(3) and Section 161.008(c) both state that TDH must obtain the parent's written consent for their child to be included in the registry. In other words, by law parents must 'opt-in' to have their children included in the registry.

It has come to my attention that there has been discussion at TDH to adopt an 'opt-out' policy for the Immunization Registry -- that parents must provide written notice not to have their children in the registry. Given the unambiguous language of Section 161 .007(a)(3) and 161.008(c), the Department's directive seems clear.

Please feel free to contact my Austin office if you or your staff would like to discuss this matter further.


State Senator


cc: Mr. Robert Crider