Immunization: The Parent’s Choice
On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, another threat to parental rights surfaced, this time in the Public Health House Committee. House Bill 465, authored by Rep. Donna Howard, would change the vaccine registration process into an opt-out system.
What does this mean for you?
If this system is implemented, your child’s name and information would be automatically added to the state immunization registry. You would be required to manually remove your children’s names and information if you wish to keep them off of the registry.
Additionally, all of the children whose parents opted them out of the immunization registry would then be placed on a state-maintained “opt-out list,” resulting in the exposure of the children’s personal medical information.
Currently the system is an opt-in process, giving parents control over where their children’s medical information goes.
However, with this new change, as soon as a child is immunized, his or her information is placed into the immunization registry by default unless the parent signs the opt-out form. Many parents aren’t aware of the immunization registry and would unknowingly be submitting their child’s personal medical information to state records by failing to opt-out.
What is THSC doing to protect you?
THSC Public Policy Director Jeremy Newman, of the Watchmen team, appeared at Tuesday’s committee meeting to testify against the bill. Jeremy argued that parents who are unaware of how the immunization registry works are at risk of accidentally sharing their children’s private medical information.
It will not be known until the committee votes on this bill whether the Watchmen and countless other witnesses’ voices were heard and taken into consideration. THSC will continue to keep a close eye on this bill, along with many other bills that affect parental rights, and keep you informed.
How to stay involved and informed:
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