ImmTrac was created by DSHS as a result of the enactment of House Bill 3054 (75th Legislature) which required a statewide immunization registry be implemented by September 1, 1997.
During the summer of 1993, research was started to evaluate the requirements and impact of a state-wide Immunization Tracking System (ITS). On August 17, 1994, HP Enterprise Services, then known as Electronic Data Systems (EDS), was awarded the ITS project, and the ImmTrac project was initiated.
Between December 1995 and April 1996, DSHS began registering public medical providers to use the ImmTrac application, and by April 1996, the Registry application was available for request by any private medical provider. Although originally established as an “opt out” system, where immunization information received for all Texas children was included in the Registry, a revision to the Texas Administrative Code, effective January 1, 1999, resulted in an “opt in” system, requiring parents to consent to have their child’s information included in the Registry. This change resulted in the loss of 675,750 client records, leaving the Registry to rely on voluntary parental consent and medical provider compliance with Texas law requiring ImmTrac participation.
In 2003, the 78th Legislature passed House Bill 1921 to reduce confusion about parental consent requirements, increase provider and client participation, protect the privacy and confidentiality of Registry data, and increase the utility of the Registry and Registry data. DSHS implemented House Bill 1921 on January 1, 2005. Some of the key requirements of House Bill 1921 include: all health-care providers and payors are required to report to ImmTrac all vaccines administered to children younger than 18 years of age; during the birth certificate registration process, parents must be given the opportunity to grant consent for Registry participation or request their child be excluded from the Registry; and a parent may submit a child’s immunization history to ImmTrac to be included in the Registry.
In 2007, the 80th Legislature passed Senate Bill 11, which changed the process for receiving parental consent. ImmTrac users are able to give affirmation that they have received written parental consent without submitting the actual consent form to DSHS. Senate Bill 11 allows ImmTrac to include immunization information on first responders (peace officers, fire protection personnel, emergency medical services personnel) and their immediate family members 18 years of age and older. The Registry will also be used to capture information about persons who receive an immunization, antiviral or other medication administered to prepare for a potential or declared disaster or public health emergency or in response to such an event. ImmTrac will also track any adverse reactions to an immunization, antiviral, or other medication administered to prepare for a potential or declared disaster or public health emergency or in response to such an event.
More legislation affecting ImmTrac was passed by the 81st Legislature in 2009. With the passage of Senate Bill 346, ImmTrac changed from a children’s only registry to a lifetime registry-enrollment from birth to death- allowing Texans age 18 years or older to store their immunization records in the Registry. In February 2011, ImmTrac implemented the new legislative mandate and began promoting awareness of the Lifetime Registry and adult consent requirements. Adults may grant consent at any time to participate and consent is valid for a lifetime.
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