Since 2007, with a total of 24 bills passed to date, The Immunization Partnership and it’s advocates have played a major role in influencing immunization legislation in Texas. Noteworthy bills that have been passed include:
S.B. 819 (the Jamie Schanbaum Act)
2009, 81st Legislative Session
Meningococcal meningitis is a deadly disease that spreads by prolonged or close contact with an infected person. Senate Bill 819 states that first time college students are required to show a valid certificate of vaccination against bacterial meningitis. In 2009, Texas became the first state in the country to require this vaccination for students who attend public, private, or independent institutions of higher education living in an on-campus dormitory. The Immunization Partnership worked with Patsy and Jamie Schanbaum to pass this bill, which is also known as the Jamie Schanbaum Act.
2011, 82nd Legislative Session
Senate Bill 1107 was formed in 2011 due to the passing of a Texas A&M University student named Nicolis “Nico” Williams from bacterial meningitis as well as updated recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The Texas meningococcal vaccine requirement was expanded to require meningitis vaccinations for all students entering college regardless of whether they lived on or off campus. The law was renamed the Jamie Schanbaum Nicolas Williams Act.
2013, 83rd Legislative Session
Senate Bill 64 ensures that children enrolled at licensed child-care facilities and those who are employed at those facilities are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. The facility must have a policy in place for required vaccines based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all employees to follow.
2015 – 84th Legislative Session
Before House Bill 2171 was passed, the Texas Immunization Registry would allow parents/guardians to consent to have their child’s immunization records in the state’s confidential immunization registry until the age of 18. Once the individual turned 18, he or she had to consent to keep the records maintained – otherwise, their record would be removed from the system. Now, immunization records are maintained in the registry until the young adult is 26 years old. This allowance makes records easily accessible for traveling, enlisting in the military, college admissions, or changing health care providers.
2019, 86th Legislative Session
During a disaster first responders are on the front lines, so it is important they have quick and effective access to their immunization information. House Bill 1256 allows first responders to directly access their immunization records in times of disaster response.
2019, 86th Legislative Session
A first responder’s vaccination status is vital for their protection and safety in times of disaster because they are vulnerable to wounds and possible infections. House Bill 1418 ensures individuals can access their vaccine history upon applying for emergency certification and recertification. For those who aren’t in the immunization database, they will be notified and receive information about their risk of vaccine-preventable disease exposure for their duty assignments.