Legislative Highlights

Legislative Highlights

Since 2007, The Immunization Partnership and our advocates have played a major role in influencing immunization legislation in Texas. Noteworthy bills include:

2009, 81st Legislative Session

Senate Bill 819 (Jamie Schanbaum Act). Meningococcal meningitis is a deadly disease that spreads by prolonged or close contact with an infected person. Senate Bill 819 requires first-time college students 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 (Jamie Schanbaum Nicolas Williams Act). Senate Bill 1107 resulted from the death of Texas A&M University student Nicolis “Nico” Williams from bacterial meningitis. The bill also as updated recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The bill expanded Texas meningococcal vaccine requirement to require meningitis vaccinations for all students entering college regardless of whether they live. 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 passage of House Bill 2171, the Texas Immunization Registry allowed 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, the state would remove their record from the system. Now, immunization records are maintained in the registry until age 26. This allowance makes records easily accessible for traveling, enlisting in the military, college admissions, or changing healthcare providers.

2019, 86th Legislative Session

House Bill 1256 allows first responders to directly access their immunization records in times of disaster response. During a disaster, first responders are on the front lines, so it is important they have quick and effective access to their immunization information.

2019, 86th Legislative Session

House Bill 1418 ensures first-responders can access their vaccine history upon applying for emergency certification and recertification. The vaccine status of first-responders is vital for their protection and safety in times of disaster because they are vulnerable to wounds and possible infections. Individuals not in the immunization database will receive notification and information about their risk of vaccine-preventable disease exposure for their duty assignments.

2021, 87th Legislative Session

Senate Bill 239 bill ensures the Texas Department of State Health Services will communicate clearly immunization information to community-based organizations during times of disaster.

2021 87th Legislative Session

Senate Bill 1353 requires the Texas Department of State Health Services to report vaccine access and distribution data during public health disasters.